You may have heard of stem cell therapy from political debates or flashy headlines, but you may not be aware of how exactly it works. To understand stem cell treatment, you first must understand how to human body builds itself. The body is composed of billions of cells, each of which are special to the organ they form, whether it is your brain, muscles, ligaments, or bones. Your cells are constantly in a degeneration and regeneration cycle each day; as older cells age, they die off, and new cells replace them, born out of stem cells. However, in the event of an injury, the degeneration process gets ahead of the regenerative process, which makes body systems weaker, painful, and unable to operate properly. Stem cell therapy is a relatively new medical intervention that utilizes the patient’s stem cells to promote the regeneration process. For the case of injuries, the best stem cells to use are those found in bone marrow.
Injuries Treated by Stem Cell Therapy
Once more research into stem cell treatments has been performed, it is likely that stem cells will be used to treat all types of injuries, as well as virtually any disease or health condition. Currently, extensive research is being performed on the effect of stem cell therapy on spinal cord injuries. However, this medical treatment is still in its infancy. Currently, we most commonly treat injuries of the joints, as well as arthritis, with stem cell therapy.
How Stem Cells are Obtained
Stem cells are actually relatively easy to retrieve, as our bodies always have a supply ready in the case of injury. The stem cells used to address joint problems come from the bone marrow. In order to harvest them from your body, it is easiest to find them in the back of the hip. In the office, we use a ultrasound to guide us to the stem cells. As you lay face down, we will numb the area to minimize any discomfort. A needle will be inserted into the bone as to withdraw blood from the marrow, where the stem cells are located. This procedure is not considered painful or difficult to withstand.
Once we obtain the bone marrow blood, it is taken to the laboratory. There, the stem cells are concentrated and purified, and the other cells are removed. This concentrated sample is then completely customized to suit your injury. Your concentrated platelets are also gathered in order to release growth factors that make stem cells work. Platelets are injected again in three to five days in order to keep the stem cells active so you can keep healing.
Benefits of Stem Cells for Injuries
Typically, when we are injured, it takes weeks or even months in order to recover. In order to restore full range of motion, strength, and mobility, an injury requires a variety of interventions, including physical therapy, surgery, and medication. With stem cell therapy, a patient is able to return to normal activity immediately after the procedure while their body quickly works to heal their injury. Additionally, patients who receive stem cell therapy are less vulnerable to certain risks inherent to surgery due to their extra stem cells.
If you are looking for a treatment to help you heal from a recent joint injury or treat your arthritis, stem cell therapy may be right for you. L.A. Quinn M.D. is a skilled physician with years of experience administering stem cell therapy which has helped an abundance of patients heal from injuries. Contact our stem cell center in Florida today for further guidance.