Stem cell injections are being used to treat various conditions pertaining to knee, shoulders or back. There are several myths surrounding the treatment that you need to be aware of. The therapy has helped thousands of patients overcome insufferable pain. They are said to find relief of some sort almost instantaneously after the very first session. And, if one keeps at it, they can hope to find permanent relief from the pain they are going through
1. Defining Stem Cell Therapy
Defined mostly as an alternative to traditional surgery, this non-invasive procedure has been used to treat various conditions. The patient can walk out of a stem cell therapy session and immediately continue with his or her routine. The only known side effect of this procedure is the temporary swelling of the injected area.
2. Defining Stem Cells
Stem cells are defined as “empty” cells that can be programmed to multiply into any kind of cells. This holds the potential to treat various diseases or conditions. If an injury in the left arm has damaged a certain portion, stem cells can take over and regenerate it into the tissues required to heal that portion.
Stem cells are the only cells available in the human body, which possesses this extraordinary power to morph into any type of cells required. It can be used to treat various conditions related to the muscles, bones, cartilages etc. due to this tremendous self-morphing factor.
3. Defining The Procedure
Stem cells are present throughout the body; however, it is mainly concentrated in the bone marrow of an individual. It is extracted using a very painless procedure from the patient’s body itself. After extracting the required amount of stem cells, it is then put through a series of preparation techniques (differs according to the physician and clinic associated). Once the final solution is prepared, it is then injected back into the patient’s affected area. This leads to enhancement of a person’s healing procedure and results can be seen almost immediately.
4. Defining The Healing
A patient’s stem cells are extracted from the bone marrow (most probably from the lower pelvic hip region). The physician or the person in charge then take the stem cells and prepares it through a specialized centrifugal process, which multiplies the stem cell count up to 10 fold. The procedure mostly takes around 30 minutes to complete. As soon as the procedure is complete, the patient is free to leave and carry on with his or her daily routine.
Contrary to popular belief, the procedure is not painful at all and a local anesthetic is used to prevent any discomfort during the procedure. There are various clinical trials available for research, which shows how effective stem cell regenerative therapy can be. The stem cell knee injections used to treat osteoarthritis has been proved to be quite an effective treatment for the condition. The treatment is effective around 85 percent of the times according to a scientific study conducted.
5. Defining the Recovery
Most patients notice no difference in the initial 3 weeks or so into the treatment. Some patients see no improvement for about 6-8 weeks. However, once you start feeling an improvement in the condition, you will continuously notice it expanding over a time frame of about 6 months. Once the improvement phase is complete, you will be permanently free from the condition you were previously suffering from.
6. Precautions During Recovery
There occurs, in some cases, a mild soreness in the area after the stem cell treatment. During this time, any physical exertion on the affected area should be averted. Special care should be taken not to strain any part of the affected area. Pain medications are also avoided as much as possible. Many medications have an adverse effect on the therapy and thus, any use of it is not recommended.
7. Difference between ASCs and ESCs
ASCs (Adult Stem Cells) are often found in the bone marrow of adults. It is found in mature adult tissues such as bone marrow or fat. ESCs (Embryonic Stem Cells) are obtained from donated embryonic cells, which have raised many ethical concerns over the years. Also, since ESCs are not extracted from the patient itself, there is a possibility of the body rejecting it. However, adult stem cells are retrieved from the patient itself, which means there is no chance of rejection from the body. It does not pose any ethical concerns as well.
8. Safety of the Procedure
The procedure is absolutely safe as far as infections and the body’s rejection criteria are concerned. Since the cells are extracted from a patient’s own body, there is no possibility of the body rejecting the treatment. Due to the same reason, there is no increased chance of an infection as well.
9. Effectiveness of the Procedure
Stem cell knee injections are highly effective in treating even advanced osteoarthritis. It substantially reduces any pain experienced by the patient. Apart from the effectiveness of the stem cells, the bone marrow also contains many growth hormones and tissues, which greatly reduce inflammation, and assists in the healing of the body quickly.
Stem cell injections have also shown the ability to grow cartilages in certain types of procedures. The ability of the cells to form new cartilage after an injection is being researched. People can hope to fully heal and recover from the condition they’re suffering from soon.
10. Connection With Surgical Procedures
Stem cell treatment after certain surgical procedures can prove to be quite beneficial. For instance, if you underwent a micro-fracture surgery, the stem cell injection acts as a catalyst to hasten the healing procedure of your cartilages. Similarly, it is also helpful in other conditions where fast healing can assist a speedy recovery.
The advantages of stem cell injections are immense. It can be used to treat knee conditions like osteoarthritis, or shoulder/joint injuries as well. This particular area is under immense research and people will soon be able to lead a pain-free and healthy lifestyle.
If you are suffering from pain, please contact our office at (516) 419-4480 or (718) 215-1888 to arrange an appointment with our Interventional Pain Management Specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Chacko.