Orthopedic injuries can occur in any part of the musculoskeletal system. Many follow some sort of bodily trauma, but a great deal result from the natural aging process and the daily wear and tear our bodies endure.
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Indeed, it’s estimated that one in two Americans has some sort of orthopedic disorder, making it a critical problem for half of the people living in the United States alone. Even just ten years ago, the treatment options for orthopedic problems were mostly limited to rest, physical therapy, medicine and/or surgery. The last decade, however, has produced alternative care options, one of the most promising being stem cell therapy for orthopedic injuries. Here’s what you need to know:
What is Stem Cell Therapy for Orthopedic Injuries?
Stem cell therapy for blood disorders and cancers has existed since the mid 1950s. The high rate of success such treatments afforded many patients sick with a hematologic disease led to the exploration of other possible stem cell applications and the benefits they might confer. Such research continues to this day and suggests the effectiveness of using stem cells to treat a wide range of problems, especially orthopedic ones.
Stem cells are cells that can become many (if not all) different types of cells. They originally exist with no specific function but, depending on where they are located, they can be “triggered” to become a heart cell or a muscle cell or a bone cell, etc. For instance, embryonic stem cells (those from a blastocyst) are pluripotent, meaning they can become any kind of embryonic cell. Other stem cells, however, such as those found in some adult tissues (like mesenchymal stem cells), are limited to becoming only bone, cartilage, muscle, fat, ligament or tendon. Stem cells are useful as a medical treatment because they have the potential to replace old or damaged cells, thereby mitigating the effects of aging, injury and disease. Stem cell therapy for orthopedic injuries, specifically, involves the harvesting of mesenchymal and hematopoietic stem cells from adipose and bone marrow tissues so that a concentrated aspirate of both can be combined with platelet-rich plasma and reinjected into affected areas needing tissue regeneration and repair.
What Kind of Orthopedic Injuries Can Stem Cell Therapy Potentially Treat?
Research suggests that stem cell therapy could potentially treat a variety of orthopedic injuries such as:
- Partially Torn Achilles Tendons, Rotator Cuffs and Anterior Cruciate Ligaments (ACL)
- Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD), Herniated Discs and Sciatica
- Facet Joint Dysfunction
- Bone Fractures
- Tennis and Golfer’s Elbow
- and more
Want to Learn More?
Stem cell therapy for orthopedic injuries holds exciting promise as a valid treatment for reducing inflammation, regenerating tissue and relieving pain. To find out if it might be an option for you or a loved one, please contact our team at ThriveMD. Our founder and medical director, Dr. Scott Brandt, is an expert in regenerative medicine, spinal injections, pain management and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). He is board certified in anesthesiology and active in many research and teaching endeavors and will review your records to determine if there is a treatment that may work for you.