The possible benefits of stem cell therapy have been known about for some time, but the results of a new piece of research suggest that it could provide quicker, more efficient healing than had previously been thought. What does the study show and how could it affect the future of injury treatments?
Full Details of the Research
The latest piece of investigation into this subject was carried out by several universities in Italy, including the University of Parma and the Polytechnic University of Marche. They carried out stem cell grafts on sheep that had tendon injuries, with their results published by Stem Cell Transitional Medicine.
The outcome of this study was that it took just two months for the grafts to achieve the same size and toughness as the sheep's original, healthy tendons. The grafts were created from stem cells obtained from fat that had been taken from the sheep in question.
Overall, this piece of work suggests the stem cell grafts could give us a safe and fast way of getting human tendons to recover in the future. Francesco De Francesco, M.D., is credited as a senior co-author of the research, and he said that the rise in the number of tendon injuries, together with the ineffectiveness of some treatments, has made this a global healthcare burden costing over $870 billion in 15 years.
This isn't the first study that has used animals to look at the impact of stem cell treatment on tendon healing. A previous piece of research found that rats healed better in up to 70% of cases where stem cells were used. However, the more recent work in Italy is perhaps more relevant to human cases, as sheep are closer in size to people.
What Are the Current Options for Recovering from Injury?
At the moment, the idea of using stem cell grafts on human tendon injuries remains an idea until more research is carried out. Yet, there is already a growing trend for stem cell therapy to be used on sports injuries. This is generally recommended where the patient isn't responding well to other types of treatment or if they need to avoid traditional treatment for some reason.
It is easy to forget that loss of earnings is a huge factor for many injured people, causing them to rush their recovery. With traditional healing methods, it can take a long time for the injured party to feel fit enough to get back to work, which can have a devastating effect on their personal finances.
Stem cell therapy could be a big help for these people. For the moment, the use of personal injury solicitors is one of the few ways of helping to deal with the financial consequences of injury. Cycling accidents and injuries at work are among the situations where a claim can be made. It doesn't matter what type of injury is sustained, only that someone else is to blame for it.
Stem cell therapy isn't a particularly invasive approach, and the results to date suggest that it could provide an excellent alternative in the future. One of the main advantages to this method is that it promises quicker healing, which is a huge benefit for someone who is keen to get back to work or start carrying out their favourite sports again.
It seems certain that further research into this subject will help to show us the way forward. Faster recovery periods and a more reliable process could soon be possible for many different types of injury.