Osteoarthritic pain is an ever present and debilitating disorder. It can prevent individuals from pursuing activities that they used to enjoy, such as hiking or skiing. It can also prevent some from pursuing lifelong careers.
In order to alleviate pain and prevent osteoarthritis from becoming debilitating, many procedures are available. One such procedure, called Stem Cell Therapy, can provide much needed relief to patients suffering from chronic pain due to osteoarthritis or other muscle and ligament related injuries.
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cells are the raw materials that the body uses to produce the varied cells required to maintain life. Stem cells can grow into soft tissue or hard tissue. Each stem cell in the body has the potential of creating one of the myriad of specialized cells the body requires through a process called differentiation. During this process the stem cell splits, creating daughter cells that are specialized for a particular function, such as heart tissue or bone tissue.
Researchers in regenerative medicine have studied stem cells as a possible solution to many health problems due to their special rejuvenating properties. Under the right conditions, stem cells can be used to regenerate damaged or diseased tissue. For those that suffer from Osteoarthritis, this means that damaged muscle, cartilage and ligaments in the joints can literally take on a new life, providing greater stability and relief from pain.
How does Stem Cell Therapy work?
Stem cells are extracted from a patient using a process called bone marrow aspiration. During this procedure, a sampling of blood is taken from the bone marrow, usually from the pelvis region. This blood is then spun in a centrifuge to separate out the plasma from the other parts of the blood. Once separation is complete the stem cell can be extracted from what remains. This concentrated cluster of stem cells is called Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC).
The physician can then inject the BMAC into the damaged region of the patient. The procedure for extracting the stem cells is done within a clinic setting and takes little over an hour. The extraction process with the assistance of local anesthesia is quite tolerable. Since the stem cells are from your own body, there is no risk of an allergic reaction. The process is natural and free from side effects.
What kind of results can be expected?
Research has demonstrated the regenerative potential of Stem Cell Therapy. In a study published by the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biomedical Engineering at Duke University Medical Center, researchers observed that injections of stem cells not only reduce inflammation, but stemmed the progression of osteoarthritis in the joint. This is due, in large part, to the rejuvenating properties of stem cells in the ligaments and surrounding tissue.
Likewise, those undergoing Stem Cell Therapy can expect a reduction of inflammation in the treatment area, as well as a reduction in the progression of osteoarthritis. This will result in less pain—both immediate and long term. The same results have been found in other types of ligament injuries such as rotator cuff, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, quadriceps and patellar tendon tears.
Is Stem Cell Therapy right for you?
Since Stem Cell Therapy does not require invasive surgical procedures, the treatment is ideal for those who are unable to undergo the standard surgical procedure due to the risk of complications. Stem Cell Therapy is also commonly used in cases where other standard treatments have failed.
Dr. Chappell of In2it Medical specializes in Stem Cell Therapy, using ultrasound guidance for injections in order to reduce the risk of damaging surrounding tissue. Call our trained staff to see if this kind of treatment is right for you and schedule your consultation.
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