WHAT ARE STEM CELLS?
Mesenchymal stem cells are specialized cells that naturally grow in our body and can differentiate into bone, cartilage or fat cells. They are widely used in medicine as a natural healing solution to effectively treat orthopedic conditions including the spine and major joints (like the shoulder, hip, knee, ankle, etc.).
BENEFITS OF STEM CELL THERAPY
There are many benefits of stem cell therapy, including but not limited to:
- 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
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The human body has multiple sites for stem cells to repair degenerated and injured structures. We have found that obtaining stem cells from the hip bone (iliac bone) is easily performed 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 injected and begin regenerating and strengthening weakened joints.
WHAT CONDITIONS BENEFIT FROM STEM CELL INJECTIONS?
Stem cell injections are most commonly used for treatment of the following conditions:
- Osteoarthritis of the joints including knee, hip, shoulder, and ankle joints
- Partial rotator cuff tears
- Persistent tendon tears such as tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, quadriceps, and patellar tendon tears
- Muscular tears
- Cartilage tears in the knee (meniscus)
- Spinal conditions including degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, spinal facet pain, pinched nerves, and sacroiliac (SI) joint pain
WHEN WILL I SEE BENEFITS FROM THE PROCEDURE?
Stem cell injections are designed to heal and strengthen damaged tissue, therefore pain relief is typically noticed several weeks after the procedure. Final relief is seen approximately two to three months after the entire treatment protocol has been completed.
HOW MANY INJECTIONS DO I NEED?
In most cases, patients respond very well to just one treatment. Some patients, depending on the severity of the injury, may benefit from two to three injections over the course of 12 months.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF STEM CELL INJECTIONS?
As with all procedures, there are minor risks associated with stem cell injections including infection, bleeding, or nerve damage. It is important to note that there is no risk of allergic reaction since you are using your body’s own healing factors. The physicians at Virginia Spine Institute will always recommend the safest and most efficient procedures for our patients, however, your physician will review any possible risks associated with this treatment prior to administering.