Stem cell therapies are hardly new. In fact, they are perennially on the cusp of finding their way into mainstream orthopedic medicine. The problem has long been a lack of reproducible findings – and a prohibitive cost.
At least one half of that equation may finally be getting addressed. Doctors are seeing more consistent results with certain stem cell therapies for orthopedic issues such as knee pain and shoulder pain. The process has remained largely unchanged since the technology was invented/discovered:
Doctors use a needle to extract bone marrow from the crest of the hip bone. It’s then sent to a lab, where it is spun down to get at the layer of stem cells — cells that have the potential to become any type of cell.
The stem cells are then combined with the patient’s platelets, a type of blood cell involved in healing. Then, it’s given back to the patient. The idea is to have the stem cells turn into new tissue and improve pain and function. . . .
Typically, this is done for various inflammatory tendon problems, though it can be used for hips, knees, shoulders, ankles, and spine. Patients usually notice improvement by three months, with full benefit in one year.
It is a promising approach, although the body of literature on stem cell therapies versus traditional knee surgeries remains in its infancy. The best bet if you’re experiencing chronic knee pain: Visit a San Diego Orthopedic Surgery Center and get a full workup. You will be counseled on the risks and rewards of the various treatment options available to you, based on your unique situation. We provide PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections among the other various conservative treatment measures. In addition, we are able to provide the complete array of surgical procedures. This broad and comprehensive approach to treating your pain and dysfunction puts us in a unique position of being able to provide you an honest appraisal of your options. Our goal is to make you better!