Stem Cell Therapy For Joint And Soft Tissue Injuries
Dr. Brandt is one of a select few physicians in the country to be trained in a groundbreaking, minimally invasive technique that is saving many patients from undergoing difficult joint replacement surgery.
Stem cell therapy relies on the body’s own natural healing abilities to repair tissue in affected joints. This technique begins by taking a patient’s own stem cells found in adipose (fat) tissue, concentrating the cells into a small injection, and then reintroducing them into the area of concern.
This process stimulates the body to repair and replace tissue that has disintegrated over time or been traumatized from injury or overuse.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells have the ability to become any type of cell in your body. Their ability to multiply and morph into various types of cells is what makes them so valuable.
All Stem Cells Have Three Main Properties:
1. They can divide and renew themselves for extended periods of time.
2. They can morph into specialized cell types.
3. They are unspecialized (which allows them to be a blank slate for morphing into specialized cells).
There are three main types of stem cells and, depending on the source, they are all harvested differently.
Three Types Of Stem Cells:
Umbilical Cord Blood & Placental Stem Cells: These stem cells are extracted from birth and preserved for future use, for the benefit of the child. The harvesting of umbilical cord blood and the placenta is completely safe and becoming more and more common.
Embryonic Stem Cells:These stem cells are generated from fertilized, frozen eggs at in-vitro fertilization centers. The stem cells are not harvested from eggs fertilized within a human. Much controversy still surrounds the use of embryonic stem cells for research, but these cells are continually sought after due to their immense versatility.
With their potential for unlimited replication and pluripotency, embryonic stem cells are a likely source for innovating regenerative medicine and curing diseases.
*We do not harvest or use any embryonic stem cells here at Thrive.MD.
Adult Stem Cells: They are harvested from your own body and are undifferentiated cells found among differentiated cells within your body. Their primary role is to maintain and repair the tissue in which they are located.
You currently have adult stem cells within your body and their role is to maintain and repair surrounding cells. Deriving stem cells autologously (from one’s own body) provides the least amount of risk and is a safe and effective way of allowing your body’s stem cell supply to heal an ailing joint or injury naturally.
Adult Stem Cell Focus
Early stem cell research and controversy has surrounded embryonic stem cells. Our focus, as well as many other stem cell treatment centers, is on non-embryonic adult stem cells which are found within a person’s own body.
The two broad types of stem cells are found within mammals are as follows: embryonic stem cells (isolated from the inner cells of blastocysts) and adult stem cells (currently within our blood, skin, bone marrow, fat, muscles and organs).
Three Main Adult Stem Cell Harvesting Routes:
1. Bone marrow, which is obtained from drilling into your bone (usually the iliac crest or your femur)
2. Blood, which is harvested through a blood draw
3. Adipose tissue (fat), which is obtained during a brief liposuction procedure
Most stem cell clinics harvest adult stem cells from bone marrow. However, recent innovations allow us to use adipose fat-derived stem cells which are easy to harvest. This process removes excess abdominal fat, and provides a remarkably higher stem cell counts. *Stem cells derived from adipose tissue contain as much as 2500 times those found in bone marrow.
Adult stem cell research has generated much excitement due to scientists finding more adult stem cells within the body than they originally thought possible. Adult hematopoietic, also known as blood-forming stem cells, from bone marrow, have been used for treatments for over 40 years.
Stem cell therapy is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed at our office as an outpatient procedure. You will first have a consultation to see if stem cell therapy is right for you (See Is Stem Cell Therapy Right For You) and to discuss your stem cell therapy needs and expected outcome.
After local anesthesia is applied, a brief liposuction treatment will proceed. Fat will be harvested most often from your abdomen lasting approximatly twenty minutes. Our sterile treatment facility will ensure minimal risk of infection, and our specialized doctors will provide you with a relaxing environment.
Separating Stem Cells
After fat is removed from your abdomen (easiest workout ever!), we separate the stem cells in a process that yields an optimum stem cell count for your particular ailment.
Stem Cell Treatment
Depending upon your area of treatment, the stem cells will be injected into your ailing joint or injury location. This minimally invasive procedure will introduce new stem cells to your chronic ailment providing new opportunities for repair and regrowth.
- The procedure is carried out under real-time x-ray guidance to ensure precise placement of the stem cells.
There is no chance of rejection because the stem cells injected are derived from your body. The whole process takes less than three hours.
The entire regenerative process can take up to 1 year. However, patients typically begin to notice improvement in the first 2-12 weeks.
Four weeks after the initial stem cell injection, a platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection is performed to enhance the regenerative effects. The PRP gives the stem cells a boost and continues to fortify them as they grow.