Stem Cell Procedures
Stem Cell Injection Therapy:
One of the most exciting recent developments in the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal conditions is the use of adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the potential to become other, more specialized types of cells. Stem cells are broadly categorized as either “embryonic” or “adult”. As the name implies, embryonic stem cells are derived from human fetuses, whereas adult stem cells are obtained from adults!
Currently there are over 70 proven therapies using adult stem cells, while there are none using embryonic stem cells. This is in part because scientists have had tremendous difficulty controlling how embryonic stem cells differentiate. Adult stem cells do not suffer from this problem.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types, including: osteoblasts (bone cells), chondrocytes (cartilage cells) and adipocytes (fat cells). This has been demonstrated in ex vivo cultures and invitro or in vivo. MSCs are obtained from the bone marrow, most commonly the back of the iliac crest (the “hip bone”), or from adipose tissue (fat), from the abdomen. .
All of our stem cell, PRP, and prolotherapy injections are given under direct ultrasound guidance. We first numb the skin, then using ultrasound, we guide the needle to the precise location and inject the stem cells. The ultrasound guidance insures both accurate and safe injections.
Most commonly, stem cells are not injected by themselves. We combine platelet rich plasma with stem cells to get the benefits of the growth factors from the blood and MSC’s from the fat or bone marrow.
Harvesting Stem Cells for injection therapy is done right in our office. Doctor Frye will harvest the MSCs from adipose tissue (fat) or from bone marrow. The adipose tissue will generally be harvested from the abdomen, while the bone marrow would be harvested from the hip bone. In either case, the skin will first be numbed with Novocain. A very small incision will then be made for the special harvesting needle to be inserted into. In the case of adipose harvesting, a numbing fluid will be injected into the adipose tissue, and allowed to work for 15 minutes. Then a special harvesting needle will be inserted to draw out the adipose tissue full of MSC cells. Only a small amount, approx. 60 CCs or four table spoons will be taken. When harvesting bone marrow, the needle will pass through the cortex of the bone and slowly draw out a small amount of liquid marrow. Both procedures are painless in most cases.
The syringe containing the MSCs from fat or bone marrow will be placed into a special centrifuge. The fat or marrow is spun and the stem cells are highly concentrated and passed into a new syringe, from which the injection(s) are given.
The entire process takes about an hour and is minimally uncomfortable.
Platelet Rich Plasma:
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), a form of Regenerative Medicine, is an exciting new area of medicine utilizing your bodies own Platelets (a component of your blood) to help heal the underlying cause of your pain or dysfunction, and not just mask it. The process of PRP therapy is to collect blood, separate the platelets, extract platelet-rich plasma, and inject injured area with PRP.
The Mayo Clinic says regenerative medicine is a game-changing area of medicine with the potential to fully heal damaged tissues and organs, offering solutions and hope for people who have conditions that today are beyond repair.
Regeneration involves delivering specific types of cells or cell products to diseased tissues or organs, where they will ultimately restore tissue and organ function. This can be done through cell-based therapy or by using cell products, such as growth factors.
Platelet rich plasma treatment areas include elbow, wrist, hand, knee, ankle, foot, shoulder injuries and back and hip injuries.