What You Need to Know About Orthopedic Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy is proving to be a successful treatment option for patients living with orthopedic conditions, like arthritis or other degenerative joint conditions. Many people seek stem cell therapy as an alternative to surgery. If you are considering stem cell therapy, it is best to fully understand the treatment.
Understanding Stem Cells
Our bodies are made up of many cells, each designed for specific purposes. We have liver cells, fat cells, bone cells, etc. Each of these cells can duplicate, but they cannot change their purpose.
Every cell in the body is derived from stem cells. They can not only self-replicate, but they can also become any type of cell in the body. There are different kinds of stem cells, but the Stem Cell Orthopedic Institute of Texas only uses adult stem cells that are found in bone marrow. Here’s why:
- Can only be found in adult tissue
- Excellent source of Cartilage and Bone
- Stops growing appropriately (contact inhibition)
- NOT potentially cancerous
- Raises less ethical issues
- Reduces possible immune responses by using the patient’s cells
- Relatively non-immunogenic
- Can be transplanted between different patients without initiating an immune response
- Shows limited differentiation potential to tissues of one germ layer
The main role of an adult stem cell is to maintain and repair the tissue in which they are found. We also take stem cells from the hip because they are rich in mesenchymal stem cells, or MSC. MSC has strong potential for tissue repair because it can self-replicate, reduce inflammation, fight cell death, and separate into more than one specialized cell (including bone cells, muscle cells, cartilage cells, and fat cells).
If you are considering stem cell therapy, and your doctors are planning to use embryonic stem cells, run! In the United States, embryonic stem cells are not allowed for use in the human body. These cells are only found in the developmental stages of an organism and can be cancerous.
How it Works
The overall goal of stem cell therapy is to deliver more stem cells to an injured area than the area could have ever created on its own.
Every medical practice will have a different process, but this is the process we go through at the Stem Cell Orthopedic Institute of Texas. First, the patient will have an initial visit so the doctor can perform an examination and ensure that they are a good candidate for stem cell therapy. Then, comes the procedure!
- The patient will receive a light sedation and will lie down.
- The doctor will perform a bone marrow biopsy by placing a very small needle into the hip to numb the area. Remember, the hip is rich in mesenchymal stem cells. Under a live x-ray, a bigger needle will be inserted into the desired area of the hip, and 60 cc’s of bone marrow will be extracted.
- To remove the unwanted cells and retrieve the desired stem cells, the cells are processed through a bedside centrifuge for 10 minutes.
- The stem cell concentration will then be injected into the exact treatment area with the help of a live x-ray or ultrasound.
- Sometimes, the doctor might add in a patient’s platelet-rich plasma to the stem cell concentrate. Think of this as an “anti-pain cocktail.” Platelets have a stimulatory and recruitment effect on stem cells. Mixing the stem cells with platelet rich plasma offers various anti-inflammatory potentials and different mechanisms to aid in the body’s repair.
On average, the procedure takes a little under an hour. The doctor will create a specialized rehabilitation plan for the patient to follow after the procedure. Patients will then have follow-up visits with the doctor to track the outcomes and to ensure everything is going smoothly.
Am I Eligible?
If you have been told that surgery is your only option, you might be eligible for stem cell therapy. If you would like to find out if you are a good candidate for stem cell therapy, schedule an appointment with one of the doctors at the Stem Cell Orthopedic Institute.
The following are some of the most common problems seeking stem cell therapy:
- Avascular Necrosis
- Labral Tear
- Patellofemoral Syndrome (Chondromalacia)
- Patellar Tendinopathy
- Meniscal Tear
- Rotator Cuff Tear
- Arthritis of the Shoulder Joint
- AC Joint Dysfunction
- Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow)
- Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer’s Elbow)
- Elbow Arthritis or Bursitis
Back and Spine
- Spinal Degeneration (Degenerative Disc Disease)
- Discogenic Low Back Pain
- Facet Joint Arthritis
- Osteoarthritis of the Ankle
- Chronic Ligament Sprain or Tear
- Plantar Fasciitis
Hand and Wrist
- Hand Arthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand
- Trigger Finger (Dupuytren’s Contracture)
Visit the Stem Cell Orthopedic Institute of Texas
If you live in San Antonio, you have access to innovative treatments and the best doctors. At the Stem Cell Orthopedic Institute of Texas, we utilize the most advanced and effective stem treatment options for our patients. 100 percent of our patients were satisfied with their treatment, and 79 percent experienced pain relief. Don’t continue living in unnecessary pain! Contact the Stem Cell Orthopedic Institute of Texas at (210) 293-3136 to get started. The pain ends here.