Stem cells are found naturally in all people
Stem cells are the repairmen of the body. The type of adult stem cell that is most often seen in research as being associated with tissue repair is the mesenchymal stem cell (MSC). These cells are formed in the bone marrow and usually travel to the injured areas within the body via the blood stream. If the injured area has a poor blood supply then the body is not able to get enough of these and other repair cells to the injured areas. This can occur in joints, meniscus tissue, rotator cuffs, spinal discs, and other tendon injuries. These are areas that typically do not heal on their own. Since there can be a poor blood supply in this area, the body has trouble sensing an injury is present. By delivering stem cells and growth factors to this area by concentrating and injecting them, we are mimicking an improved blood supply allowing the body to then heal the damaged tissues and repair itself.
How are stem cell treatments performed?
Stem cells are collected by aspirating bone marrow from the back of the patient’s pelvis. The bone marrow aspirate is a bloody substance that is removed from the pelvis through a small needle. There is usually minimal discomfort with this procedure since the area is well anesthetized with a local anesthetic. This aspirate contains mesenchymal stem cells, platelets, and other types of growth factors.
The bone marrow is placed in a special container. The container is then placed into a machine called a centrifuge. This machine spins the bone marrow at a very fast speed causing the stem cells and platelets to be separated from the rest of the blood products. It is this concentration of stem cells and other critical factors found in bone marrow that is injected back into the injured area.
Once introduced back into the body, the platelets and stem cells work together to repair the damaged tissues nearby. In addition to repairing the damage, the stem cells encourage the damaged cells to repair themselves and also take part in the repair process.
How long does it take to see results?
The complete repair can take 2-3 months but improvement is usually felt within a few weeks.
For more information about how stem cell therapies can repair and regenerate your damaged tissues and treat your knee, shoulder, hip and back pain, please contact our center.