Stem Cell Therapy for the Medial Collateral Ligament
What is the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)?
The medial collateral ligament, commonly abbreviated as the MCL, is one of two ligaments connecting the femur to the lower leg bone. In addition to this basic purpose, it supports the knee, allows rotation, and keeps the knee from bending backward.
How Does the Medial Collateral Ligament Become Damaged?
Often an MCL injury occurs as the result of hard impact. Perhaps you were in a car crash, or maybe you fell while playing a vigorous sport like football or skiing. You could also have problems if you simply overtax the MCL. Too much stretching can lead to a loss of elasticity and ultimately injury in the form of an MCL sprain or a partial or total MCL tear.
What Are the Symptoms of a Torn Medial Collateral Ligament?
- Mild to severe knee pain. Unfortunately, MCL pain is frequently severe.
- Pain that grows more intense hours after the initial injury.
- Bruising in the area of the knee.
- Stiffness in he knee.
- Swelling in the knee.
- Tenderness in the knee.
- Limited range of motion in the knee
Conventional Treatment of Medial Collateral Ligament Injury
It virtually goes without saying that the MCL tear symptoms listed above can be quite distressing and limit a person ability to go about his or her day-to-day activities. Accordingly, sufferers tend to seek treatment swiftly after problems become apparent.
Conventional treatment for an MCL injury typically begins with elevating the damaged leg, icing it, and giving it rest. During this time, mild exercise may be prescribed to strengthen the leg.
Drug therapy is likely to be prescribed for damage to the medial collateral ligament as well, often in the form of pain medication and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs.)
In the most serious cases, a surgeon may remove part or all of the damaged ligament.
Issues with the Conventional Treat of a Medial Collateral Ligament Tear
The treatment regimen described above can be effective for some patients. It does, however, come with a number of potential problems.
Steroid injections don’t help everyone, and they sometimes bring long-term side effects.
Pain medications and MSAIDs may not get rid of all the MCL pain.
Surgery is dauntingly invasive, comes with a lengthy recovery period, and results in extra stress of the meniscus and other ligaments; part of the preexisting support structure is, after all, gone. The extra stress can contribute to the early onset of arthritis, tears in other ligaments, and additional musculoskeletal problems.
For all these reasons, patients way wish to consider the alternative of stem cell therapy for an MCL injury.
What Is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy is a form of regenerative medicine that uses the patient’s own naturally occurring stem cells to promote the growth of healthy new tissue. It is safe, done on an outpatient basis, and generally produces quick results.
At the Pain Relief Institute, steam cells are provided through the medium of amniotic fluid injection. Amniotic fluid is the clear yellow fluid that surrounds a fetus in the uterus and is a source of mesenchymal (embryonic) stem cells. These are pluripotent, meaning they can develop into any kind of cell and thus are maximally useful for repairing damaged tissue.
Stem Cell Therapy and the Medical Collateral Ligament Injury
Like stem cell therapy for other health problems, stem cell therapy for an MCL tear is performed in our clinic, is minimally invasive, carries no risk of side effects, and will have you on your way in a matter of hours.
The appropriateness and efficacy of stem cell therapy depends on the nature of the MCL injury and certain other factors including your age and overall health. If you’d like to consult with an expert about whether it’s right for you, we invite you to contact the Pain Relief Institute for a consultation.