Stem Cell Therapy

What is Stem Cell Therapy and how does it work?

  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) therapy has been used as a nonsurgical alternative to surgery and a natural alternative to steroid injections since the early 1990’s. It uses the body’s own stem cells to treat all types of degenerative conditions. Adult stem cells can be transferred directly into the site of degeneration and/or injury. This can be performed safely and effectively in our state of the art office and surgery center. It is a natural, safe alternative to steroids and often to more invasive surgery.
  • MSCs represent a paradigm shift in treating musculoskeletal injuries and neurological conditions. They are a breakthrough, nonsurgical treatment option for individuals suffering from low back pain, joint pain or other soft tissue injuries.  MSCs may be used clinically as a cellular therapy that has great potential to actually accelerate better healing of injuries and are a great source for the regeneration of musculoskeletal injuries. Whether it is soft tissue, ligaments, tendons, joints or painful degenerative discs, MSCs can help regenerate injured tissue. MSCs are undifferentiated cells that are available in our body and have the capability to proliferate, and send signals to turn on your own stem cells, growth factors and proteins to reduce inflammation, promote healing, proliferation of healthy cells to ultimately reduce pain, restore tissue repair and improve function. 
  • Injection therapy with stem cell is increasingly popular alternative to surgery that have been getting excellent results for patients of all ages, from professional athletes to ‘weekend warriors’.

What conditions are commonly treated with MSCs?

  • MSCs are used effectively to treat many painful problems. Some common examples include: joint pain secondary to osteoarthritis (knee, shoulder, hip, facet joints), soft tissue injuries (muscle and tendon tears), and low back pain caused by a painful disc with internal disc disruption (tears) and/or degenerative disc disease.

What are sources of MSCs used for treatment?

  • Every person has stem cells in their body. Stem cells function to aid in the healing and regeneration of healthy tissue. MSCs are the main cells that help in healing and maintenance processes in the body. Stem cells are stored throughout your body and can be harvested and used therapeutically in a simple outpatient setting. Stem cells can restore a healthy environment by stimulating cells and proteins to reduce inflammation and create new healthy tissue in an injured area of the body. Studies are starting to show benefit with Stem Cell Therapy for conditions including: low back pain (ddd, facet arthritis), joint pain (shoulder, knee, hip OA), soft tissue injuries (ligament/tendon and muscle tears).
  • Autologous stem cells from bone marrow concentrate – Bone marrow derived stem MSCs can be safely and easily taken from the hip bone and then concentrated through a specialized process performed on site. When handled and injected carefully and correctly, stem cells help set up a healthy environment and stimulate a regenerative process to create healthy tissue and repair injuries. 
  • Autologous stem cells from adipose tissue concentrate.  The center is currently using a novel autologous concentrating system from Lipogems – This system uses the patient’s own adipose tissue taken from superficial abdominal fat. It is concentrated at bedside using mechanical methods (vs using chemicals like collagenase that the FDA has objected to using for safety issues). This helps to isolate and concentrate the useful stem cells and growth factors that are plentiful in adipose tissue. This is a same day procedure, performed in our state of the art surgery center. It is performed with the use of conscious sedation and patients usually experience only minimal discomfort. Adipose derived stem cell and growth factors have proven to be very effective for treating painful OA in joints like the knee. 
  • Allograft stem cell products (from outside your body) are available for use. Stem cells derived from  a newborn’s umbilical cord blood and tissue (Wharton’s jelly) have high concentrations of healthy stem cells, are a rich source of proteins, and growth factors. They have proven to be safe, effective and produce a profound effect in stimulating a healing and regenerative process for injuries and degenerative conditions. This is a non controversial source of stem cells and should not be confused with fetal stem cells (which are associated with ethical, legal and safety issues in the United States). Product is donated from healthy donors that are tested multiple ways to ensure that the MSC’s and growth factors are safe to use (healthy and disease free). 
  • Exosomes represent an exciting new development in allogeneic Stem Cell Therapy options. MSCs exert their effects primarily through their ability to secrete extracellular vesicles. These vesicles or messengers are called  Exosomes.  They function as an extension of the stem cells biological role.  They provide tissue support cells to help maintain tissue homeostasis for optimal function.  Exosomes operate throughout all tissues in the body and play a central role in maintaining homeostasis and optimal cellular health. Ultimately their function leads to enhancing tissue recovery and repair. This source of ‘stem cell’ therapy is exciting and has many potential applications for treating many neuromusculoskeletal conditions.
  • Placental derived growth factors: The growth factors from the placenta and amniotic fluid of a newborn are rich sources of growth factors. Although they do not provide a strong source for stem cells, they are rich in growth factors that can significantly contribute to healing and maintenance of healthier tissue.

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