Stem-cell treatments are revolutionizing the way orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine doctors treat injuries.
Taken from your own bone marrow, this orthobiologic treatment is a safe, effective and minimally invasive approach to treating joint pain, spine and back problems and a variety of other orthopedic injuries.
How Do Stem-Cell Treatments Work?
This treatment approach uses adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). MSCs are pluripotent, meaning they separate into different types of skeletal tissue cells, including bone, cartilage and fat.
In normal biological processes, MSCs are called forth whenever you have a bone or soft tissue injury that requires repair. However, if the injury is too severe, your body cannot naturally muster enough MSCs to heal itself. In addition, the body’s MSC count drops as we age.
Stem-cell injections concentrate your own stem cells and deposit them at the exact location of your injury. Once there, this army of MSCs goes to work on healing the damaged tissue.
NOTE: Stem cells used for this orthobiologic treatment are NOT fetal stem cells.
How Are Stem Cell Treatments Done?
Stem cell injections are same-day procedures, so although your condition may require more than one treatment, you will be home and fully functional later in the day.
On the day of your treatment, we will begin by performing a simple bone-marrow aspiration (BMA). The doctor will administer anesthesia to the area where the bone marrow will be taken from, typically the rear of the hip. Then, using a sterile needle, the doctor draws a small amount of marrow from the bone.
Most patients report that this procedure is painless and stress-free.
Next, the marrow is placed in a centrifuge to isolate the MSCs. Then, using ultrasound or real-time fluoroscopy imaging to identify the target location, the doctor injects the concentrated cells at the site of your injury.
What Types of Injuries Can Stem-Cell Treatment Help?
Stem-cell injections are a safe and effective alternative to surgery. We use this procedure to treat problems related to muscles, tendons and joints, specifically in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, spine, hip, knee and ankle.
Although most patients only require one MSC injection, your case may be different. It is also important to understand that the healing process can take time. You may need a period of rehab before you can return to your sport or regular workout. However, for most patients, the recovery and rehab process is easy, compared to major surgery.
As a part of a multi-tiered approach for treating orthopedic injuries and preventing future recurrence, the doctor may recommend other treatments or functional assessments, in addition to your stem-cell treatments.