Stem Cells are types of undifferentiated cells that can regenerate damaged tissue and replace dying cells in the body, and are able to reduce the effects of arthritis and musculoskeletal issues. There are two things that make stem cells unique: First, they can self-regenerate, which means they can divide and create more stem cells of the same kind. Second, they can mature or differentiate into specialized cells that perform a specific function, such as skin, muscle or blood cells. Stem cells are then called to areas of injury where they are capable of regenerating healthy cells. Sometimes our body’s own healing response is not enough. That’s when a concentrated source of stem cells is needed.
Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy is a treatment process where stem cells are injected into the back, knee, hip or other area experiencing pain. Stem Cell therapy obtains high concentrations of cells to create an environment for the body to heal itself without the need for medications or steroid injections. When stem cells are injected into an area of injury, they enable the body’s natural healing processes to be dramatically accelerated. The cells can stimulate the formation of many different types of tissue including cartilage, tendon, ligaments, bone and fibrous connective tissues.
Stem cell injection treatment areas include:
Degenerative Disc Disease of the Spine
Degenerative Joint Disease of the Hip or Shoulder
Rotator Cuff Injuries
Achilles Tendon Injuries
Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Pain
Stem Cell Therapy Work?
Stem cells can be divided into two types of cells: Autologous and Allogenic.
- Autologous stem cells are obtained typically from bone marrow found in the pelvis through a small incision.
- Allogenic stem cells are derived from donor tissue and don’t require harvesting from one’s own bone marrow or fat cells.
If autologous stem cells are used:
A high concentration of these cells is aspirated, or extracted, from the patient’s own bone marrow or fat tissues (adipose) or from a purified amniotic tissue. Our practice uses a sterile closed surgical process to obtain the stem cells. Once obtained, the cells are isolated with a specialized centrifuge and then injected into the painful area on the same day using special imaging to make sure the cells are placed exactly where they are needed.
If allogenic stem cells are used:
A donated allograft is placed directly in the affected disc or joint. Image guidance is used for complete accuracy and precision. The entire procedure is completed in about an hour and can be performed in an office or ambulatory surgery setting.
Any Side Effects?
While minor adverse side effects are rare, it is still possible that they can occur on the day of treatment. These marginal side effects can include a slight fever or rash.
Common short-term side effects of the autologous harvesting procedure include pain and bruising at the site (which can last up to two weeks) and slight bleeding or leakage (can last 24-48 hours).
While we have not observed any major side effects of stem cell therapy in the long-term, we are always reviewing new data and are committed to your overall health. This is why we will ask you to revisit us for a standard follow-up assessment.