“Pain and swelling is not the factor used to determine if you need a knee replacement or not, it is your age”.

“Pain and swelling is not the factor used to determine if you need a knee replacement or not, it is your age”.

Doctors say, the artificial joints wear out in approximately ten to fifteen years and then they need to be replaced. As a result, getting replacement surgery at a younger age could result in a difficult and complicated operation later on. Today, there is a procedure available that could give considerable relief to knee pain without undergoing replacement procedure.

Recently Laura Hall, a forty eight year old mother, was in the physical prime of her life. Laura has trained for, and finished, half marathons. Just 5 years earlier she weighed 300 pounds. Laura Hall stated that at 300 lbs it was really difficult to get around. She had a completely negative self-image. She tried to cover herself up and it was impossible. After a lot of determination, doing various kinds of exercises and the weight watcher’s program, she lost almost half of her body weight. The problem is that she began experiencing pain in her knees, to the extent that she couldn’t even take a single step.

Laura began to see the pounds resurface. After trying harder to burn fat, she could not bear the idea of getting it back. She had to do something, so Laura visited Dr. Welsh. Scott Welsh, a surgeon at Central Texas Orthopedics says that many may think knee replacement will be the best medical option for Laura. On the other hand, Dr. Welsh states that Laura and others experiencing knee pain in their forties, fifties and sixties might be too young for knee replacement procedures.

According to Dr. Welsh, knee replacement usually lasts for ten to fifteen years. When you are in your forties or fifties and you have to undergo knee replacement surgery then you are more than likely going to undergo a total knee replacement AGAIN in your sixties or seventies, which would be a large undertaking.

What is the best option for people in these situations? Dr. Welsh suggested a less invasive procedure, called stem cell therapy. According to Welsh, the benefit of this procedure is that you can delay or put off the knee replacement for so many years provided the fact that stems cells regenerate new cartilage. Laura Hall commented that this type of treatment is very effective due to the fact that she is already exercising and the pain she experienced before has now gone away.

Laura Hall is now healthy and back to her daily routine. The procedure only takes a few hours, and the patient goes home after the procedure. Many patients are told they can resume normal activities almost immediately.