Stem cell therapy, as practiced at Colorado’s ThriveMD, is an innovative minimally invasive treatment that is part of the growing field known as regenerative medicine. Many musculoskeletal conditions caused by sports injuries and overuse can be treated with adult stem cell procedures. These procedures give your body the potential to heal itself naturally.

  • Do you have a nagging sports injury?
  • Do you experience pain due to arthritis?
  • Have you been told by other physicians that you have a joint that is ‘bone on bone’ and are a candidate for joint replacement surgery?
  • Are you experiencing back pain and looking to avoid spinal fusion surgery?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, read on to learn if stem cell therapy may have the potential to get you back to living an active, healthy lifestyle.

What Are Stem Cells

Stem cells are the construction workers of the body’s repair mechanism. The primary role of stem cells is to maintain and initiate the healing of damaged tissue and replenish dying or damaged cells.

Definition of Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy, also referred to as stem cell treatment or cell therapy, helps the body repair itself naturally.

Stem cell therapy, also referred to as stem cell treatment or cell therapy, helps the body repair itself naturally. The cells neutralize inflammation and accelerate healing. They have the potential to regenerate injured cartilage tissue, tendons, bone, muscle, ligaments and vertebral annular disc cartilage.

To regenerate your body, stem cells find the damaged tissue and have the potential to initiate its repair or regeneration. The cells can stimulate your body’s own natural healing processes. This technique begins by harvesting a patient’s own stem cells found in both adipose (fat) tissue and bone marrow, concentrating the cells into a small injectable volume, and then reintroducing the cells into the area of concern. This process stimulates the body to repair and replace tissue that has broken down over time or has been traumatized from injury or overuse.

Dr. Scott Brandt, medical director at Colorado’s ThriveMD, is one of the few select physicians in the country to be trained in the groundbreaking technique that is saving many patients from undergoing invasive joint replacement surgery, spinal fusion surgery, and other invasive surgical procedures.

Where Do Adult Stem Cells Come From

Do you have you an idea of the natural healing potential that is available in your body?

Read on to find out where your body stores these powerful stem cells.

Adult stem cells are autologous, i.e. harvested from your own body as a part of your stem cell procedure. They are undifferentiated cells found among differentiated cells within the body. Their primary role is to maintain and repair the tissue in which they are located.

Adult stem cells are found in the highest concentration in adipose (fat) tissue. In smaller concentrations, they are additionally found in your bone marrow. Beyond what is used for harvesting, stem cells are also found in blood, skin, muscles, and organs.

There are some misconceptions about stem cells and where they come from, something Dr. Brandt dedicated a blog post to.

Orthopaedic Conditions Treated by Adult Stem Cells

Stem Cells for Joints and Soft Tissue

Joint and soft tissue injuries can be treated by stem cell therapy. Stem cells can often improve function and reduce pain in patients with chronic osteoarthritis. In addition, acute injuries such as partial ligament and tendon tears can also be treated. Stem cells can potentially improve post-surgical recovery times and are quickly becoming a viable alternative to joint replacement surgery.

Severe knee, hip and shoulder pain are commonly treated conditions at ThriveMD’s facilities in Vail and Aspen, Colorado. Patient’s with golfer’s elbow or tennis elbow, can also be candidates for stem cell therapy to provide improve function and dramatically reduce pain.

Stem Cells for Back Pain

Patients suffering from low back pain due to disc disease may be able to utilize stem cell therapy to decrease inflammation, reduce pain, improve hydration as well as increase disc height. Stem cell therapy is becoming a viable alternative to spinal fusion surgery for many patients suffering from degenerative disc disease (DDD).

Central back pain, which can commonly be caused by whiplash type injuries, often results in damage to the facet joints. Like other joint damage, facet joints can be treated with stem cells.

Advantages of Stem Cell Therapy

  • No risk of rejection – autologous stem cells are harvested from and reintroduced into your own body.
  • No cummunicable disease transmission.
  • Minimally invasive – stem cell treatments are minimally invasive, in strong contrast to traditional treatments such as joint replacement. The procedures are out-patient and performed in approximately 3 hours. Patients generally do not require any post operative pain medication.
  • No general anesthesia – due to the minimally invasive character, only mild oral medications are necessary.
  • Fast recovery – stem cell therapy patients can return to work in 1-2 days and do typically not require bracing or crutches.

Harvesting Biologics for a Stem Cell Procedure

  1. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is harvested through a peripheral blood draw.
  2. Bone marrow is obtained from a patient’s iliac crest under live x-ray guidance. The cells are then concentrated using a centrifuge process. Local anesthetic is utilized.
  3. Adipose (fat) tissue is obtained through a mini liposuction procedure. Adipose tissue is the most abundant source of adult stem cells. It has the highest concentration of stem cells per volume (up to 1,000 times as much as bone marrow).

ThriveMD believes patient goals are best achieved by using a combination of all three above mentioned biologics.

What to Expect During a Stem Cell Procedure

A patient’s specific procedure will be decided upon during a one-on-one consultation at one of the two locations of the Colorado clinic. Below is a brief general guideline of what to expect. You can find a detailed outline on our dedicated stem cell procedure page.

  1. Consultation
  2. Stem cell harvest and separation
  3. Stem cell injection
  4. Regenerative process – begins within the first 3 months, continues for up to 1 year.
  5. Follow-up treatment -4 weeks after the initial injection, patients return to ThriveMD for a PRP and/or bone marrow injection. This booster provides additional growth factors and/or cells to support the ongoing healing process.

Stem cell therapy is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed at our office as an out-patient procedure.

A stem cell patient’s personal experience at ThriveMD has been written by Cordillera Life Magazine (pdf). The patient used stem cells to avoid hip replacement surgery and relieve lower back pain.

Am I a Candidate for Stem Cell Therapy

ThriveMD determines whether you are a candidate for stem cell therapy at a one-on-one consultation. Steps such as careful physical examination and review of appropriate imaging (x-ray and/or MRI) take place. To learn more about what can make your condition suitable, please view one of the specific sections below.

What Stem Cell Patients Say

ThriveMD is delighted to receive stem cell reviews on Facebook and Google. If you have been a patient at one of our Colorado facilities, please leave yours as well. Alternatively, email it to us and we will include your quote on our page dedicated to stem cell testimonials & reviews.

“Best medical decision I ever made! The stem cell procedure is quick, easy and has no recovery down time! Great alternative to surgery if that is an option. Dr. Brandt and his team are first class. I highly recommend them as your first choice!”

Brenda from Grandby, Colorado, patient follow-up

“The injections in soft tissue of left replaced knee have made a Huge difference. The right knee is continuing to get better noticeably each week. Everything I do is getting easier because I’m not in constant pain. I never want another knee replacement. My experience with Thrive has been enjoyable.”

Harvey from Vail Valley, Colorado, patient follow-up

Next Step

If you believe you could be a candidate for stem cell therapy, please contact us today.