Autologous Stem Cell Therapy (cells obtained from your own body) is a new minimally invasive treatment that enhances tissue repair and provides an alternative option for spine, orthopedic conditions and sport injuries that have traditionally required invasive surgery. Of all the modalities of regenerative medicine approved in the USA this is the most advanced and the most sophisticated of all. It is also the most involved and the most expensive. But still, if you compare it with a joint replacement surgical procedure, its cost, risks, suffering and also down time involved, it is minimal when compared to the surgery. This procedure is done strictly under local anesthesia, at our office and you walk in and out in about one hour. Unfortunately like with everything else in life, it does not work for every one but around 70% of the candidates obtain good results.
In comparison, a joint replacement surgery is a traumatic major surgical procedure that requires the risk of a major anesthetic with all its possible complications and also requires a long rehabilitation period. Additionally and what is even worse is the fact that after surgery you may still suffer from pain. Not all knee pain goes away after surgery. Just ask around to friends that have has a joint replacement and get them to tell you about their experience.
The actual stem cells are obtained from your own Bone Marrow by doing a bone marrow aspiration either from the iliac crest or the tibial tuberosity using a Jamshidi needle. You take the bone marrow aspirate and you centrifuge it to concentrate and separate the stem cells.
Additionally we also draw about 30 CC of blood from a peripheral vein, usually an arm vein. We centrifuge this blood and prepare what is called PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma, which has a high concentration of platelets rich in growth factors. These, when injected into the joint together with the stem cells, stimulate the growth of the cells.
We combine bone marrow concentrate (BMC) with the Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and injected into the joint we are treating in the patient.
Nothing is added and the cells are not modified in any way shape or form since that is not allowed in the USA at this time. We alway strive to stay within the strict guidelines of the FDA and we do not make any false claims. We exclusively use the Autologus Stem Cells to treat musculoskeletal conditions. We do not use any of the many other products advertise out there such as amniotic fluid or cord blood products. They contain no live Stem Cells.
When treating for example the hip joint, the knee joint, the shoulder, the ankle, your spine etc., we always use fluoroscopy or ultrasound guidance for the injection to make sure we are depositing the material injected where they need to go. Doing it blindly is never the way to go because you basically are guessing and can’t be 100% certain of where you are putting it.
A month after your initial procedure you will have a booster injection of platelet rich plasma (PRP) with it growth factors to further stimulate the growth of the stem cells we deposited there.