What are stem cells?
Stem cells are a biologic injection used in the sports medicine and orthopedic world to aid in injury healing. Biologics, which include stem cells or PRP (which fall under the umbrella of regenerative medicine) use growth factors (chemicals released to stimulate healing and growth) and progenitor cells (found in adipose tissue or bone marrow), to rebuild injured/damaged tissue using natures’ pathways. Stem cells contain all the genetic information allowing them the ability to mature into any cell to aid in injury healing.
How is a stem cell injection performed?
Stem cells can be obtained in using different methods. The two most common methods used are a patient’s own cells (harvested through adipose tissue aspiration or bone marrow aspiration) or through donated harvested amniotic tissue. A single stem cell injection, which is a simple in-office procedure, has the ability to stimulate healing and growth for at least 12 months. For 10 days post-procedure, certain anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) are withheld and a targeted low-impact exercise program is started. These precautions allow the regenerative pathway to begin.
How do I know if I am a candidate for a stem cell injection?
PRP can be used for a variety of sports medicine and orthopedic injuries. PRP is currently being used in the treatment of certain tendon tears, partial rotator cuff tears, and joint arthritis. If you have a sports medicine or orthopedic injury and you are interested in seeing if stem cells are an option for you, please feel free to contact us for a consultation.