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Stem Cell Therapy

Stem Cell Therapy Orange County Orthopedic Surgeons 1 - Stem Cell TherapyStem cell therapy involves the use of your own cells that continuously circulate throughout your body and are found in large numbers in your fat cells and bone marrow. Their purpose is to heal your body. Unfortunately, as we age, some injuries have a tough time healing themselves. Stem cell therapy helps your body do what it is formulated to do, and that's to naturally heal itself. By taking a rich source of your own stem cells, rather than utilizing medication or a foreign joint replacement, stem cell therapy utilizes your body's repair mechanisms and injects them directly into the site most in need of assistance.

Where Do the Stem Cells Come From?

Stem cells can be harvested from fat cells in your abdomen or from your bone marrow. Based on your diagnosis, your doctor will determine which method of harvesting stem cells is right for you.

  • Bone Marrow Stem Cells – Commonly used for cartilage and bone repair, these stem cells are taken via a needle injected in your pelvic/hip area for aspiration. Typically, a bone marrow aspirate is done after numbing of the area thoroughly with a local anesthetic prior to the insertion of a special needle (cannula) and syringe to draw out the bone marrow.
  • Fat Stem Cells – These are obtained via mini-liposuction. Once the area from which the extraction will take place is numbed with a local anesthetic, a small cannula is inserted to draw out your fatty (adipose tissue). The amount of fat to be extracted depends on the severity of your condition being treated.

Once obtained, and concentrated if necessary, the stem cells are injected into the area of injury or pain via ultrasound guidance or fluoroscopy. Some patients describe the stem cell injection as being similar to receiving a cortisone injection.

Orthopedic Diseases Treated with Stem Cells

Stem Cell Therapy Orange County Orthopedic Surgeons 2 - Stem Cell TherapyStem cells can help almost any joint in your body heal. Commonly, stem cell therapy is used for:

  • Arthritis of the hip or knee
  • Rotator cuff
  • Back pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Neck issues
  • Meniscal issues

Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy

It has been found that stem cells are capable of regenerating all types of tissues, including bone, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons. Additionally, stem cells are "smart," in the manner that they can detect exactly which tissues are damaged and selectively repair them. Stem cell therapy is considered successful when the connective tissue or joint is regenerated, which is believed to be a long-term solution. Additional benefits include:

Stem Cell Therapy Orange County Orthopedic Surgeons 3 - Stem Cell Therapy

  • Decreased pain
  • Increased function
  • Increased healing potential
  • Quicker recovery time
  • Reduced time away from daily activities or sports
  • Can be combined with orthopedic surgery to speed recovery
  • Can potentially reduce the amount of rehabilitation needed after an injury

Who is a Candidate?

Stem cell therapy, in general, is recommended for those who have pain because of moderate osteoarthritis in the thumb, ankle, shoulder, hip, or knee. There should also not be complete collapse of the joint space or bone on bone changes. Additionally, you may be a candidate if you have a soft tissue injury, such as a tear or severe tendinosis.