Stem cells have been a breakthrough in reconstructive medicine because they can turn into all types of cells necessary for healing injuries and degenerative conditions such as arthritis. And second, they have the ability to heal injury, not just cover up pain like a steroid injection. The latest stem cell treatments do not involve fetal tissue at all, which has removed any ethical concerns. They are all performed as an outpatient, with small studies to date showing amazing results for all types of injury such as rotator cuff injuries, sports injuries, tendonitis, arthritis, muscle pain, deformities, and even in cosmetic rejuvenation procedures.

Why are stem cells used?

There have been promising studies that have demonstrated the potential of stem cell therapy in the treatment of degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis, injuries, tendonitis, ligament injury and tissue degeneration associated with aging as well. Stem cells have the ability to develop into different types of tissues, which can be important in repairing the damaged areas of the tissue, muscle, ligament, or joint. Other studies have shown that stem cells not only promote growth and healing, but they also stimulate the release of repair and growth factors. Stem cells can be harvested from various sources, such as the bone marrow, and fatty tissues. Stem cells have the ability to turn into cartilage, tendon, bone and ligament cells. This is why they have been so revolutionary for healing.

Harvesting Stem Cells

Harvesting stem cells is an in-office procedure. We aspirate the stem cells from the iliac crest bone (back hip bone) using ultrasound or x-ray for precision and guidance. Patient’s skin and bone are numbed using anesthetics. While patient’s lay with face down, a special needle is inserted into the bone marrow to draw blood. This procedure is relatively simple and painless. The blood collected is then taken to our laboratory and placed in a centrifuge to be concentrated and purified. This whole process is performed manually to enable careful selection of specimen needed to repair the patient’s particular injury.

How are bone marrow-derived stem cells used for musculoskeletal injuries?

Mesenchymal stem cells, which have pluripotent growth, are harvested from the patient’s own bone marrow. This reduces the possibility of immune rejection and circumvents ethical issues from harvesting stem cells. These stem cells are derived from the patient and concentrated through laboratory procedures.

These mesenchymal stem cells are then immediately processed to concentrate the cells and injected into the target area such as the arthritic joint, tendon, damaged ligament or tissue.

Athletes benefit by often avoiding surgery and getting back on the field faster than with surgery. Patients who are facing joint replacement are often able to avoid or delay the need for it.

What are the results of stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis

In smaller studies, patients who received stem cell therapy reported greater pain relief than the control group, even with similar baselines for pain. Complications were not noted, and no ectopic tissue was noted to grow.

Currently, UNPC Family Health is at the forefront of stem cell therapy for bone marrow derived stem cells for cosmetic tissue regeneration, tendonitis, ligament injuries and degenerative arthritis.

To schedule for an evaluation to discuss how stem cell therapy can help your arthritis or soft tissue degeneration, call 425-224-2453