This is the process of extracting stem cells from a patientâ€™s bone marrow and injecting them into injured or damaged areas of a patientâ€™s body. Usually the stem cells are taken from a patientâ€™s pelvis. Adipose tissue (fat) is another source of stem cells.
Stem cells are immature, undifferentiated cells located within all of us. When these cells are put into specific anatomic environments, they mature and differentiate into precise cell type.
Unknown. There is very little research completed to give a definitive answer. There have been a few positive small studies showing the ability to regenerate into cartilage and meniscal tissue.
It takes about 8 -12 weeks to know if a positive result will occur for stem cell treatment of osteoarthritis. This will continue to improve for up to 6 months. Certain patientâ€™s will require a follow up PRP injection within 3 months if response is positive but not complete. Approximately 15-20% may not improve with this therapy.
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It is considered a low risk option for treatment, since stem cells come from a patientâ€™s own body. There is a small theoretical risk of infection or allergic reaction.
After a stem cell injection it is recommended to stop any medications or natural supplements that have anti-inflammatory properties such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and turmeric. We also recommend stopping anti-inflammatory treatments 7 days prior to the procedure.
Generally a patient will be sore 24-48 after injection. Ice and rest are the best option for this phase. Physical therapy will most likely be recommended within the next 1-2 weeks. It can take 8-12 weeks to notice a positive result, but it will not be effective for everyone. Certain patients may require one or two repeat injections within the first 3 months to maximize results.
Depending on the location of injection, a brace may be recommended for post-injection treatment as well.