Bone, Cartilage and Sports Injury

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Stem Cell Therapy and Bone, Cartilage and Sports Injury Repair

Stem Cell Therapy and Bone, Cartilage and Sports Injury Repair

Facts and Figures


Bone, Cartliage and Sports injuries Facts and Figures

Osteoporosis affects 54 million people in the US

The annual cost related to treatment of damaged bone caused by Osteoperosis is $19 billion

1 million hip and knee replacement operations are carried out every year in the US

Over 3.5 million athletes received medical treatment due to sports injuries each year in the US

6 million people in the US each year recieve treatment for cartilage damage


Source: National Osteoporosis Foundation


6.8 million people every year are treated for broken bones in the USA. However other conditions such as Osteoporosis also cause a large number of people to recieve hospital treatment for fractures.

Osteporosis is a condition that causes bones to become weak, fragile and more likely to break.

Affecting more than 54 million people in the US, the most common injuries casued by Osteoporosis are; wrist fractures, hip fractures and fractures of the spinal bones – according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Some people can lose bone density much faster than as part of the normal ageing process, leading to developing the condition.

There are other factors that can increase the risk of developing the condition:

  • other medical conditions – such as inflammatory conditions & hormone-related conditions.
  • a family history of osteoporosis – particularly history of a hip fracture in a parent
  • long-term use of certain medications which can affect bone strength or hormone levels
  • having a low body mass index (BMI)
  • heavy drinking and smoking

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), participation in organized sports is on the rise.

Nearly 30 million children and adolescents participate in youth sports in the United States. But this increase in play has led to some other startling statistics about injuries among America’s young athletes:

  • High school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries and 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations each year.
  • Children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospitals. On average the rate and severity of injury increases with a child’s age.

In fact according to research data by American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, over 3.5 million athletes received medical treatment due to sports injuries each year.

Research into Stem Cell Treatment for Bone, Cartilage and Sports Injury Repair

Fortunately, sports injuries are one of the most rapidly developing areas of adult stem cell investigations, with stem cells being utilised to speed healing, reduce scarring/fibrosis, and heal structures that previously could not be healed as well as relieving pain.

Whilst some investigations are determining if stem cells speed healing and recovery, including:

  • muscle injuries
  • bone fractures
  • some joint injuries
  • head injuries
  • overuse injuries

Others are investigating the ability of stem cells to promote recovery in areas that historically heal poorly or not at all. These include:

  • tendon and ligament injuries
  • cartilage injuries
  • repeated concussions
  • some overuse and muscle injuries

One of the most common types of sports injuries are meniscus tears. Surgery to remove the torn part of the meniscus is also very common.  Unfortunately, many people who have torn their meniscus, or who have the torn piece removed will go on to develop osteoarthritis.  Until recently, a person with persistent pain following meniscus surgery had very few options.  They could undergo a meniscus transplant, or simply try medications or injections to treat the pain.

However, in January 2014 a preliminary, but exciting study revealed that a single injection of stem cells may help certain patients regrow a portion of the meniscus which was removed at the time of surgery.  This study also showed that pain relief was higher in the stem cell-treated meniscus tear group.

Now stem cell therapies are no longer viewed as the exclusive preserve of professional athletes,  and whilst you can find plenty of stories about the role that stem cell therapy played in the treatment of Oakland A’s pitcher Bartolo Colon and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, among others, there is increasing evidence that stem therapy is now moving within the active reach of many.

Protecting Against Potential Future Health Issues

The best stem cells are young stem cells, before they can deteriorate through age of pollution. That’s why it’s advisable to bank stem cells whilst they are in their prime, at the best they will ever be – at the youngest age possible.

As children naturally lose around 12 teeth over a five-year period, the process of obtaining viable stem cells for future treatment for bone, cartilage and injury repair is non-invasive. It’s also the most cost effective way to ensure cells are banked and ready for when they may need to be used in the future.

If you want more information on how you could bank your children’s baby teeth for potential future therapeutic use, have a chat to one of our team or download our guide to stem cell banking.

To keep up to date with the latest developments in stem cell therapy and the treatment of bone, cartilage and sports injuries, make sure to check back regularly to our blog.

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