In the past, the only option for those who suffered an orthopedic injury to a joint was a surgical procedure to repair the damage. This meant going under the knife for several hours, a stay in the hospital for observation, and an extended recovery time. With regenerative therapy, the joint can be healed by using the body’s own resources, and the need for surgery can be eliminated. The stem cells can begin to rebuild the affected joint and the surrounding tissue, helping the patient recover faster and avoid an inpatient visit to the hospital.
At the Colorado Spine Institute in Johnstown, we use stem cell therapy instead of and in addition to surgery to treat orthopedic injuries and conditions that are brought on by aging and joint degeneration in knees, hips, spine, shoulders, feet, ankles, and other joints. Our autologous stem cell treatment uses adult mesenchymal, multipotent stem cells taken from a patient’s own bone marrow. These cells are then injected back into the injured, damaged, or painful area.
Mesenchymal stem cells are those capable of regeneration – they take cues from surrounding cells of a specific type (bone, cartilage, or other connective tissue) and develop into that type of cell. They are typically found in bone marrow, and mesenchymal stem cells are multipotent, which means they can only develop into specific types of cells and not something completely different such as a brain cell or a kidney cell.
The function of adult stem cells is to serve as repair cells in the body. They lie dormant in areas of the body such as the bone marrow and “wake up” when they receive signals that the body has suffered some type of injury. These signals come from inflammation and the cells move to the inflamed site in the body, release proteins to regulate the inflammation, release other proteins to stimulate new cell growth, and then begin to change into the same type of cell that was damaged to promote healing.
Unfortunately, the number of stem cells in the human body begins to decline shortly after birth. This reduction in stem cells is the reason why our body shows more wear and deterioration as we get older – the fewer stem cells lead to less effective healing. Our goal in using stem cell therapy is to take cells from one part of a person’s body where they exist in higher concentrations, such as in the bone marrow in the iliac wing, and inject them into an injured joint to potentially help reinforce the healing power.
The stem cells we use may create healthy tissue to repair damaged tissue and potentially help the body heal itself. For example, these stem cells, when injected into an area with damaged bone, may develop into bone cells to aid the body in healing the damage. The goal of this minimally invasive procedure is to help patients heal faster and regain pain-free motion, while avoiding the need for surgery.
While orthopedic surgery remains the most effective treatment for some injuries, it can come with potential complications. With adult stem cell therapy, the goal is to help your body heal itself without using surgery. Stem cells exist naturally within the body with their function being to provide healing in the event of injury.
Autologous stem cell therapy is performed in our on-site procedure suite where an experienced orthopedic surgeon uses live X-ray to remove stem cells from a high-concentrated area (the iliac wing of the pelvis) and inject those regenerative cells into the injured or painful joint or area. The goal of this procedure is to boost your body’s healing process, increasing cellular communication and providing support cells to heal where the normal process would otherwise be unable to. This procedure takes approximately 45 minutes.
If you’d like to learn more about stem cells and how they can benefit you, please contact us today or fill out the form on this page.