Stem Cell Treatment Enables the Climb

Walking up and down stairs might not seem exciting. For Carol Kichler, though, climbing and descending stairs without excruciating pain is a daily highlight.

Kichler, 73, couldn’t walk up or down even two steps without agonizing pain before September, when she received stem cell treatments in her knees.

“My left knee hurt from exercise, but my right knee was bone on bone,” Kichler said. The Scottsdale (AZ) resident said she used medication in the past and physical therapy to manage the pain. But her knees had caused her so much trouble, the retired mother and grandmother had to use poles to help her walk.

“We used to do a lot of hiking,” Kichler said, noting she and her husband liked to take their dogs to Flagstaff (AZ). “But I needed the poles, I had to hang onto something.”

The stem cell treatment, taken from her own abdominal fat (Autologous Lipoaspirate Mesenchymal stem cells) Kichler received at Southwest Spine & Sports provided relief.

“Am I pain free? No, but I’m better,” Kichler said. The stem cells made a big difference with my knees.”

Kichler added she’s visited SWSS several times in the past decade for back ailments and other issues. “It seems like I see Dr. Wolff every six months,” she said with a laugh. “I hurt my shoulder working out, lifting weights. I try to stay active, that’s how I keep getting injured.”

Bending, for example, still presents trouble for her. Arthritis, too, can flare up and slow her down. “But my knees are about 85 percent better,” Kichler said.

That means she can return to many of the activities she enjoyed before knee pain sidelined her. That includes golf, training her two Papillon dogs and other activities. “I used to go square dancing,” Kichler said. “I’d like to do that again.”

And she can delight in simple activities, such as walking up and down stairs. “Before the injection I could take only two stairs,” she said. “Recently, I took 40 stairs at a shopping center, four levels of garage parking. I parked on top and walked down.”

What are PRP and stem cell therapy?

PRP is one of the most exciting emerging forms of regenerative medicine for soft tissue injuries. Safe, effective, and all natural, PRP heals damaged joints and soft tissue injuries while also relieving pain. PRP therapy uses a small sample of the patient’s own blood, spun in a special type of centrifuge to concentrate platelets. This solution is then injected into the injured area. An alternative to surgery, PRP injections are getting great results for patients of all ages.

Multinucleated Stem Cells (MSC), stem cells for short, are potent and valuable healers. They have the unique ability to stimulate naturally and “morph” into healthy, mature cells to replace injured cells. When handled and injected correctly, stem cells help set up a healing environment and stimulate a regenerative process to create healthy tissue. In the process, cells differentiate, proliferate, and mature in the environment they’re placed. Simply put, this means stem cells are able to transform and develop into different types of healthy mature cells including bone cartilage, muscle, tendon, and ligament. Click here to learn more about stem cells.

SWSS physicians have been practicing regenerative medicine for nearly a decade – keeping up with modern advances, participating in research, and helping patients live pain-free, from elite athletes to weekend warriors. In further supporting advancement in the field, SWSS participates in clinical research in the field of biologics.

Stem cell therapy has been in use since the early 1990s. Recent advances in technology have improved the ease and safety of the therapy. Autologous stem cell therapy – meaning use of cells from your own body – is quickly gaining popularity as a means to treat painful injuries. Autologous stem cell treatment is a simple outpatient procedure at Southwest Spine & Sports. The all-natural therapy helps a wide range of patients, from those with acute muscle and/or ligament injuries, like professional athletes, to those with joint pain from arthritis, and low back pain from injured discs and degenerative disc disease. Stem cells used for treatment can be easily harvested from a patient’s bone marrow taken from the back of the hip. Cells are immediately prepared for reinjection using a specialized centrifuge system to isolate and concentrate desired stem cells under sterile conditions. Patients’ own fresh stem cells are then injected into the injured area, always guided by either ultrasound or fluoroscopy. At Southwest Spine & Sports the entire procedure is performed in our comfortable, state-of-the-art facility under conscious sedation and takes only a few hours.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, click here or call us today at (480) 860-8998.