What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem Cell Therapy is a form of treatment used to treat degenerative diseases, injuries and pain. This form of treatment uses stem cells extracted from the blood, tissue or bone marrow of a donor (embryonic or adult) or patient, to treat advancing joint deterioration and pain. The treatment works by injecting separated mesenchymal stem cells and other beneficial factors directly into the patient’s joints in order to relieve pain.
The most common form of treatment is an outpatient injection. The injection is done in our office using an ultrasound for accuracy and precision. Patients receive the treatment and are discharged home on the same day. Patients are encouraged to move the treated joint as soon as possible.
What are the Different Types of Stem Cells?
There are two types of stem cells. They are allogeneic cells – donated by another individual and autologous cells – derived from the patient.
Allogeneic Cells – Donated by an Individual
Allografts are allogeneic cells from tissue transplants obtained from C-section deliveries from normal, full-term pregnancies. Donors that consent to use of their birth tissues are carefully screened prior to their use. Physicians utilizing this therapy in their treatment protocols have seen tremendous improvements in restoring normal functionality for the patient suffering from injury related medical conditions.
There are 3 types of Allograft available:
Stem cells derived from amniotic fluid can supplement or replace damaged or inadequate connective tissue. Amniotic fluid is extremely condensed in proteins, cytokines, stem cells and other significant compounds, boosting the capability of healing potential. This nutrient rich fluid source can minimize inflammation and is naturally regenerative.
The umbilical cord blood has a rich supply of stem cells that can help generate immune system cells and blood cells. This blood is obtained from the umbilical cord of newborns. Currently, umbilical cord-derived stem cells are used for treating conditions such as leukemia and autoimmune diseases. Mesenchymal stromal cells can also be obtained from the blood of the umbilical cord.
Wharton’s jelly is a coagulated tissue from the umbilical cord, which contains a population of mesenchymal stromal cells within the umbilical cord. This clear, gel-like tissue insulates and protects the umbilical arteries and veins. Wharton’s Jelly encompasses a higher concentration of hyaluronic acid and growth factors, in comparison to amniotic fluid.
The Wharton’s jelly-derived cells are cells that can be used to potentially treat many diseases, such as liver disease, cancer, cardiovascular diseases and nerve injury. These cells aim to supplement or replace damaged or inadequate connective tissue.
Autologous Cells – Derived from the Patient
Adipose-derived stem cells are a type of mesenchymal stem cell that is derived from fat tissue. Adipose-derived stem cell are obtained from abundant adipose tissue and have the have the ability of self-renewal and multi-potential differentiation. This autologous therapy is effective for the repair and regeneration of acute chronically damaged tissue.
Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF)
Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) is the primary source of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells. SVF of adipose tissue is a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells, preadipocytes (undifferentiated fibroblasts) and other cell types. When the adipose tissue is harvested, the final product is called stromal vascular fraction. SVF is a component of the lipoaspirate (removing fat from the human body) accessed from the liposuction of excess adipose tissue.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet Rich Plasma is an alternative therapy that uses your own blood to promote healing and repair to damaged or injured tissues in the body. PRP therapy is autologous in nature which minimizes risk to patients as they are using their own blood. Risk of treatment rejection or negative reaction is highly minimized. Learn more.
Allografts work well as a standalone treatment options or as an extracellular matrix (EMC) additive to Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). When combined with PRP, allografts works as a booster, improving its lasting effect for longer and better results.
What are the Advantages of Stem Cell Therapy?
There are multiple advantages to this treatment. It is first an outpatient non-surgical injection that allows patients to return to their normal activity on the same day. This alone wipes out any painful and lengthy recovery that would result from a surgical procedure. It also decreases the risk for infections following a surgical procedure.
Treatment promotes recovery for damaged joints. It is not a temporary fix for pain. The cells injected into the joints promote regularity within the cells. Each stem cell works to replace and repair the damaged joint tissues. Pain and swelling normally decrease due to this therapy.