knee cartilage regeneration

Stem Cells from Fat vs. Bone Marrow – Best Sources for Cartilage Repair

Scott Brandt, M.D. Research, Stem Cell Therapy, Stem Cells for Back Pain, Stem Cells for Joint & Soft Tissue Pain

Based on previous studies and our clinical experience, ThriveMD has built our stem cell procedure protocol based on the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s) prepared from adipose tissue (fat). The mixture of regenerative cells and growth factors that are derived from adipose tissue is called the stromal vascular fraction (SVF) and has been an excellent choice for soft tissue repair, especially the regeneration of cartilaginous tissue in the back and joints (such as knees, hips or shoulders).

Fat tissue provides the largest volume of adult stem cells, while bone marrow provides additional growth factors and stem cells to aid with the repair process. The addition of bone marrow concentrate to the powerful stromal vascular fraction further amplifies the healing potential of the injection.

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The Potential of Cartilage Regeneration with Stem Cells

Cartilage regeneration has the potential to help avoid invasive procedures, such as joint replacement, or to help alleviate arthritic joint pain.
 Cartilage regeneration with stem cells has the potential to help avoid invasive procedures, such as joint replacement, or to help alleviate arthritic joint pain. Throughout the past six years we have also been seeing excellent results with the use of SVF in the back pain treatment, most prominently in the treatment of degenerative disc disease. Spinal applications utilizing these regenerative therapies are quickly becoming the most successful stem cell procedure we perform at ThriveMD.

Fat vs. Bone Marrow – How the Different Types of Stem Cells Work

Adipose (fat) tissue provides the largest volume of adult stem cells (500 to 2,000 times the number of cells per volume found in bone marrow). Bone marrow provides some stem cells, but more importantly provides a large volume of additional growth factors to aid in the repair process. In addition to adult stem cells, fat tissue also contains numerous other regenerative cells that are important to the healing process. Stem cells derived from adipose fat tissue have been shown to be a much better source for the repair of cartilage degeneration and recent studies have demonstrated its superior ability to differentiate
into cartilage.

The Studies on Adipose vs. Bone Marrow Stem Cells

First, a stem cell research article by Jang and Koh titled Characterization of Adipose Tissue-Derived Stromal Vascular Fraction for Clinical Application to Cartilage Regeneration highly supports the premise that adipose derived cells are a far better source of stem cells than bone marrow concentrate (BMC) for a point of care (same day) cartilage regeneration stem cell procedure. This article did an excellent multi-part analysis comparing bone marrow concentrate to stromal vascular fraction (SVF) and cleared some stem cell misconceptions.

The authors used several types of analysis to define the significant differences in the content and function of these two regenerative injection concentrates. Flow cytometry allowed a thorough look at the cell yield. It demonstrated that SVF contained 10 times more MSC’s and 5 times more adherent cells than BMC, perhaps the most crucial components for these types of procedures .

It also showed that SVF had 200 times more stromal cells and 18 times more pericytes, both also very important in a regenerative procedure for joints, spinal discs and soft tissue. Also, of importance, the BMC contained 6 times more leukocytes, or white blood cells which can impede healing by furthering the inflammatory reaction at the site of the injury.

One minute with Dr. Brandt on the best sources for harvesting stem cells

Stromal vascular fraction was dramatically better than bone marrow concentrate in its ability to differentiate into cartilage.
Two other important features were also well documented in this study. SVF created significantly more colony forming units than BMC, another significant predictor of healing response. Perhaps most importantly, SVF was dramatically better than BMC in its ability to differentiate into cartilage.

Second, a study by Han Chao et al has also demonstrated that fat derived stem cells also have a higher proliferation potential for neural tissue and are a better source for not only cartilage regeneration but also for nervous system regeneration.

Stem Cells from Fat vs. Bone Marrow – the Superior Choice

The studies gave a very comprehensive look at comparing BMC and SVF in the ability to repair cartilage damage in a same procedure protocol. Every significant measurement comparing bone marrow to adipose tissue for stem cell harvesting demonstrated that adipose derived stem cells provided better cell content and superior ability to differentiate into cartilage than bone marrow. Our extensive clinical experience with the procedure for Colorado patients suffering from pain in the knees, other joints, soft tissue, and a wide range of back problems – clearly demonstrates the same.

Using the most effective combination of autologous stem cell sources is one of several criteria to identify a legitimate stem cell clinic. Other important characteristics we recommend paying attention to when choosing a stem cell clinic, include the presence of a physician who owns and operates the clinic, X-ray guided injections administered by a trained injection specialist, and a clinic that takes time to discuss your questions. A review of your imaging and clinical data is needed in order to determine if stem cell therapy is right for you.

*Individual patient results may vary. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy may be able to help you.

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If you believe you or someone you care about could be a candidate for stem cell therapy administered by a trusted clinic, please contact us today.

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Linda Gerrans
Linda Gerrans
19:37 14 Dec 17
When I was told by an orthopedic doctor I needed double knee replacement I chose stem cell therapy instead. Stem cell therapy has helped me get through my days without the pain I was experiencing and enjoy the activities I was unable to because of the pain.
John Beeman
John Beeman
23:05 08 Jan 17
I just wanted to give an update regarding the stem cell procedure performed by Dr. Brandt at Thrive about 3 years ago. My range of motion continues to improve--remarkable at 64.I skied 150k in 5 days last week and never iced my knee once. I can't remember skiing that many feet w/out having to ice in the last 20 years. The knee treated has been without an acl since I was 18 and is pretty severely arthritic,but I am getting better performance now than I have in recent memory. Thank you, Dr. Brandt!!
Lisa Harris
Lisa Harris
15:59 02 Jan 17
After struggling with an Achilles injury for 1 1/2 years and trying everything to heal it - steroid, physical therapy, wearing a boot, no activity, stretching, etc - I decided to have stem cell therapy at Thrive.md. It was a short procedure and an afternoon of post op recovery, which after 6-8 weeks, resulted in a full recovery from my injury. This seemed to finally stimulate blood flow and healing to an injury I had resigned myself to having forever. I highly recommend this procedure for tendon injuries like this one.
Zvezdomir Zamfirov
Zvezdomir Zamfirov
03:55 14 Nov 16
I am a pain management physician myself. I am 52, and physically very active. I still play soccer competitively. Six months ago I suffered a hip injury with a labrum tear. Due to the pre-existing wear and tear, the only conventional treatment, which was offered to me was total hip replacement. I wanted to remain physically active and continue to play sports, so I decided that this is not the best option for me. I choose instead to try stem-cell therapy. Ten days ago I had my procedure done by Dr. Brandt, and since then I have nothing but positive things to say about him and his practice. Everyone in his office was extremely welcoming and put me at ease and comfort about my procedure. The procedure went very smooth. And I did not have ANY post procedure pain or discomfort. I had no need for any pain medication. I was back to work seeing patients on the 2nd day after the procedure. My hip already feels noticeably better. I have the second procedure scheduled in four weeks, and I am confident that in another 3-4 weeks I'll be back playing soccer again. Thank you, Dr. Brandt and team for taking such excellent care of me.
John Reilly
John Reilly
13:44 04 Nov 16
I saw Dr Brandt on 8/8/16 for a lower back stem cell injection. From the injection, I got a serious infection in my lower spine. As a result, I spent 2 days in the Vail hospital and have been on daily IV antibiotics for the past 8 weeks. A few weeks after the injection, I started feeling increased pain which was a different pain than before my injection. It was much sharper and a shooting pain. I communicated this information to Dr Brandt and his staff. There only response and treatment was stronger pain meds. oral and injected steroids (the worst thing to do when an infection is present). The pain became so intense and debilitating, I finally made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. Their team quickly discovered from listening to my symptoms and reviewing a new MRI that I had an infection. I also discovered from a search on DORA that over the past 13 years Dr Brandt's has a history of incidents with the DORA which regulates medical professionals. Over this time, his license was suspended for a period of time and is he currently practicing on probation through 2019. At one point, the AG said he was unfit to practice medicine.
Laurel Wilkerson
Laurel Wilkerson
21:22 08 Aug 16
Great job by the Thrive MD team in Edwards. With a torn achilles tendon, I was really opposed to surgery. When I discovered Dr. Brandt and team, I was thrilled. They are most professional and explained every step of the process and procedure for treatment options. I am on the road to recovery, and I am so thankful to have discovered Thrive. Before you let an orthopedic doc operate, take the time to explore and discuss stem cell therapy. Thrive MD made the process easy and convenient. Thanks! One year later update - ankle is doing great. Skied 52 days in 2015-16. Hiking, biking and all are no problem. Great team of caring people who know their business.
Brad Jones
Brad Jones
00:27 19 Feb 16
Dr. Brandt and his entire staff are amazing! Early in the ski season I had a partial tear in my ACL and thought I would be out until the next year for sure. However after consulting with Thrive MD they informed me that I was a good candidate for stem cell therapy. I went through the procedure and went from barely being able to walk with crutches to walking comfortably and normally within three weeks! I was back at work quickly and just got back on the mountain recently. My knee feels very solid and I have ZERO issues with it. Thank you Thrive MD for saving my ski season!
Karen Taylor
Karen Taylor
02:10 09 Dec 15
I am so happy to have found Thrive this past summer. After being told by 3 Dr's that I need a knee replacement I was feeling very discouraged. 2 1/2 years ago I had a very bad skiing accident and destroyed my tibial plateau. After surgery and physical therapy I was no where near where I wanted to be functioning physically. I couldn't hike, ski, or basically do anything active without constant pain. I went to Thrive and got my hormones balanced, got my energy level back up to where I like it to be and had several stem cell treatments on my knee. It was not an instant fix, but over the past 6 months it has continually started to feel better. I just skied 3 hard days in a row in Beaver Creek, with no swelling and very little pain! I am back to functioning at about 80% of my capacity. I'm thrilled with the progress and hope to continue to improve as I continue to be active this winter. I am so happy not to have a knee replacement and to be able to keep my own knee. Thank you Dr. Brandt.
Sylvia Baldwin
Sylvia Baldwin
00:00 26 Apr 15
Dr. Brandt is the best! I've been seeing him altogether for around 15 years now for corticosteroid injections for pain and would never want to see anyone else. He is very skilled with the needle and getting the injections done in exactly the right places. In addition, I've found Dr. Brandt to be a very concerned and caring individual; he's a great listener who clearly gives a lot of thought to what the best approach is going to be in dealing with the situation the patient describes. I've found that he always takes as much time as necessary to assess the situation; dealing with Dr. Brandt is such an entirely different experience than virtually every other meeting I've had with various surgeons and other M.D.'s. His staff is also very friendly, helpful and kind--as I said, he's the best...and well worth the drive to Edwards!
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