Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy has a dramatic effect on joint pain. Patients have come to us hoping to avoid knee or hip replacement surgery, for example, and we have used stem cell therapy to, not only relieve them of pain, but actually heal the joint, negating the need for surgery or further treatment. Many of our patients who have already had surgery and found that it did not help them, are healed after being treated with stem cells. We get them off their painkillers and improve their quality of life exponentially.
What is stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapy is a highly effective treatment in which stem cells are injected into an injured area. At the Magaziner Center, we use Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for our stem cell therapy injections. MSCs are manufactured in the bone marrow but are stored in the highest concentrations in our fat. Stem cells are responsible for rebuilding and regenerating the body. They are living cells that are able to transform themselves into many different types of tissue, and are therefore able to differentiate into ligaments, tendons, bone, nerve, and cartilage.
When an injury occurs, it is the stem cells that are released and summoned by the body to rebuild damaged muscle, joints or cartilage. By injecting these stem cells directly into the damaged area, the doctor is able to assist and accelerate the body’s natural healing process.
What injuries and conditions are treated with stem cell therapy?
- Rotator cuff tears
- Biceps tendonitis
- Osteochondral defects
- Osteochondritis dessicans
- Labral tears of the hip and shoulder
- Tennis and golfer’s elbow
- Non-healing fractures
- Ligament injuries
- Degenerative disc disease
- Chronic neck and back pain
- Spondylolithesis and spinal stenosis
- Post-concussion syndrome
- Chronic groin and hamstring strains
- Meniscus tears of the knee / failed meniscus surgery
- Charcot Marie Tooth Disease
- Nerve injuries / neuropathy
Stem cell therapy is performed by extracting stem cells from the body, purifying them, and then injecting them back into the body, directly into the injured area. Because we use the patient’s own stem cells in such a high concentration, there is no need to manipulate, expand or grow them in cultures.
Along with stem cells, we inject platelet rich plasma (PRP) into the damaged area. PRP is a combination of the patient’s own growth factors and platelets. By taking a blood sample and spinning it in a centrifuge, we are able to isolate these elements from the blood.
If stem cells are the grass seeds, PRP is the fertilizer that helps the lawn to grow. It provides cell signals and nourishment, which help the stem cells to flourish and develop into new joints, ligaments, tendons and other parts. PRP not only triggers stem cell development, but can also help stem cells regenerate on their own inside the body. In fact, PRP is also used alone as treatment for many injuries and joint pain.
We believe that the best stem cell therapies are derived from the patient in high concentration. Manipulation and replication of stem cells in culture may inactivate these cells and could lead to the development of a mutation that can lead to cancer. The use of the patient’s own stem cells avoids these risks and makes the treatment safer and more effective. According to scientific research and independent analysis, our procedure yields 50-300 times more stem cells than a bone marrow procedure.
During the initial visit, the patient is examined not only for their area of question, but in all of the surrounding joints that could contribute to pain and arthritis in their problem area. We perform a comprehensive evaluation that looks at habits, lifestyle and diet. Once stem cell therapy is deemed an appropriate treatment, pre-treatment testing and an EKG is performed.
Using a local anesthesia, stem cells are harvested, processed on site and injected into the injured area.
While the initial visit may take 1-2 hours, the stem cell procedure generally takes 3 to 4 hours of office time. The patient is then encouraged to gently use the treated area, and no crutches or other restrictions are given except no heavy lifting for one week and we also prefer no immersion in a bath or hot tub for at least one week.
During the initial evaluation, any MRI or X-ray of the affected area are also reviewed. A full physical examination of the vital organs is performed in addition to a comprehensive history that looks at habits, lifestyle, and diet. We want our patients, no matter what their age, to be in optimal health. Because of the deleterious effects of cigarette smoke on stem cells, patients who smoke are generally not accepted into the program. If the patient is deemed an appropriate candidate for the stem cell procedure, the pre-procedure testing and an EKG are performed. Often patients who need the stem cell procedure will also need correction of pelvic tilt and treatment of PRP and/or prolotherapy into surrounding areas to begin the regenerative process and treat the entire problem, not just the joint that is producing pain.
In most cases, patients will receive one stem cell treatment with follow-up PRP injections performed every 3-4 weeks. This is to encourage the stem cells to continue doing their work. The number of monthly PRP injections depends entirely on the healing ability of the patient, the severity of the injury and the progress made over time.
Being that stem cell therapy is extremely safe, it can be repeated if necessary to obtain optimal results. However, the vast majority of patients receive only one stem cell procedure per injured or arthritic joint.
Most cases of stem cell and platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatments are successful, yielding positive results. We have had sidelined pro athletes resume their high intensity career and have witnessed elderly patients who were once wheelchair bound walk again without assistance. We have had patients with chronic hereditary and acquired diseases improve to a functional level that allowed them to again enjoy life. Our patients have seen an end to their pain and a return to their normal level of functioning, even after failing surgery to a torn meniscus.
There have been no reports of serious adverse effects in the scientific literature or in our patients when adult stem cells are used.
It is preferable to surgery and oftentimes makes it possible to avoid surgery that would have otherwise been necessary. As opposed to the pain, disability, downtime and risk associated with major surgery, stem cell therapy has very minimal recovery time. There may be a soreness in the treated area and the possibility of bruising, but patients are able to continue their everyday activities while undergoing treatment. Because we use only local anesthesia, our patients are not at risk to the possibility of cognitive decline that can accompany prolonged general anesthesia. Furthermore, in contrast to joint replacement surgery, the risk of infection is practically zero, where an infected artificial knee, hip, or shoulder can lead to weeks to months of hospitalization and disability.
We follow strict FDA guidelines in the use of stem cells, and at no time do we manipulate, expand, or grow stem cells in culture. We believe the best stem cell therapies are derived from the patient in high concentration, and placed back into the area of treatment. Manipulation and replication of stem cells in culture may inactivate these cells and may also lead to the development a of mutation that could lead to cancer. The use of the patient’s own adult stem cells, as is performed at the Magaziner Center, avoids this problem.
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