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Stem Cell Therapy

What is Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cell therapy is a modern outpatient procedure that utilizes the body’s natural healing process to rebuild damaged tissue, heals injuries more effectively, and eliminates pain. Stem cell therapy targets the underlying source of pain without relying on medication and surgery, leading to increased function and mobility with a shorter recovery time than surgical options. Stem cells can differentiate into bone, cartilage, or fat cells to stimulate healing in the body. Our regenerative medicine specialists have pioneered this safe and effective solution for a variety of orthopaedic conditions. Notably, Virginia Spine Institute is the only practice in Virginia to use your own, live stem cells derived from bone marrow to heal discs in the spine.

How Is Stem Cell Therapy Performed?

The human body has multiple sites for stem cells to repair degenerated and injured structures. We have found the hip bone (iliac bone) to be very rich in stem cells and can harvested easily and within minutes. After the stem cells are obtained, minutes later they can be used for treatment in our outpatient state-of-the-art-facility.

Regenerative stem cell injections are performed using image guidance (i.e. ultrasound or fluoroscopy) to ensure accurate placement of the stem cells. Once the affected area is sterilized and numbed with a novocaine-type solution, stem cells are then injected into the damaged area to try and stimulate a healing response; regenerating and strengthening weakened tissue.

How are Stem Cells Used?

Stem cell therapy can be used for the relief of most orthopedic conditions and common spinal conditions. While we are one of the only practices in Virginia to use stem cell therapy to heal discs in the spine, our regenerative medicine specialists have pioneered this safe and effective solution for most orthopedic conditions. Most commonly, stem cell therapy is used for:

Joint, Muscle, Tendon & Ligament Injuries

Chronic conditions like tennis elbow, Achilles tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and jumper’s knee can benefit from stem cell therapy speeding up the healing process and decreasing pain and inflammation. For athletes and sports enthusiasts, stem cells offers a significantly shorter recovery time than surgical alternatives, helping you get back to your routine faster.

Disc Pain & Disc Herniations 

Stem cell therapy can help treat and provide pain relief from disc herniations, complementing modalities like spine-specialized physical therapy to relieve discomfort and enhance rehabilitation.

Osteoarthritis Treatment

Stem cells can help relieve the pain, stiffness, and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis.

Surgical Healing

If surgery is required, stem cell therapy can also be used during the procedure to help promote healing in the affected area. For example, if a patient needs surgery to repair a torn tendon, stem cells can be injected into the affected area to help speed recovery.

Stem cells are beneficial for treating areas of the body that typically have longer recovery times or pose a higher risk with surgical intervention. When stem cells are injected into extremities like certain joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, the team at Virginia Spine Institute uses ultrasound imaging to ensure optimal placement. If stem cells are being injected into structures of the spine, we use x-ray imaging such as fluoroscopy for precision guidance. 

Is Stem Cell Therapy Right for Me?

Recovering from an injury can often feel like a long, winding road back to health. However, for athletes and weekend warriors diagnosed with an injury or condition, the possibility of choosing surgery could also mean extensive recovery time.

Patience and persistence are two crucial factors in creating the best possible recovery outcomes. But there is also another element that can offer a significant advantage without drastic or problematic side effects. 

Stem cell therapy is a popular, drug-free treatment, that helps the body accelerate its natural healing process. Stem cell therapy can treat various conditions, including sports injuries, wounds, back injuries, and osteoarthritis. Stem cells can be injected into injured or damaged joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, making it a quick and effective treatment option. 

At Virginia Spine Institute, we regularly use stem cell therapy as a non-operative, regenerative medicine approach because it offers patients low risk and minimal downtime while providing excellent results.

What Are the Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy?

As a non-operative method that stimulates regeneration and provides pain relief, stem cell therapy can help patients of all ages get back to life in a matter of weeks. By contrast, some surgeries may require months to achieve a full recovery. And alternative treatments like corticosteroids or other medications may have limitations regarding how frequently they can be administered. Regenerative medicine, like stem cell therapy, can help your body to rev up its healing engine and avoid some of the side effects typically seen with other medications.

Because stem cell therapy is a regenerative medicine modality, it doesn’t just mask the pain or symptoms a patient is experiencing. Instead, it helps heal the root cause of the problem — and it does so naturally.

  • Improved pain-relief and decreased inflammation
  • Increased functionality and range of motion in affected area
  • Shorter recovery time compared to traditional treatment options
  • Natural, longer-term treatment solution
  • Effective alternative to surgical intervention
  • Outpatient procedure with no anesthesia

What Are the Risks of Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cell therapy is considered a low-risk procedure. Because stem cells are made from your own bone marrow, complications or an allergic reaction are less likely compared to other therapies.

Potential risks or side effects of a stem cell therapy can include bleeding, tissue damage, infection, and nerve injury. In addition, it’s critical to avoid blood-thinning or anti-inflammatory medications (such as Aspirin, Advil, Motrin, etc.) with stem cell therapy as they can impede the healing process. Be sure to consult with your health care provider for specific guidance.

Find the Best Stem Cell Therapy Specialist For You

Taking the time to consult a specialist on the specifics of your spinal or orthopedic care can provide a tailored solution that gives you the confidence you need to move forward. We offer consultations at the Virginia Spine Institute to help people explore their treatment options and learn more about innovative therapies like regenerative medicine (including PRP, stem cell therapy, and prolotherapy).

Schedule your first appointment online with us and explore your options today.

Meet our Regenerative Medicine Team

Dr. Niteesh Bharara

Orthopedic Specialist - Non-Surgical Sports Medicine
Director of Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Thomas Nguyen

Interventional Pain Management Specialist

Dr. Christopher Good

Spine Surgeon
President of Virginia Spine Institute

Dr. Colin Haines

Spine Surgeon
Director of Research

Dr. Thomas Schuler

Spine Surgeon
Founder
Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Ehsan Jazini

Spine Surgeon

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