The healing process is one of the most amazing miracles in nature, requiring hundreds of thousands of cells and proteins to work together in a specific sequence to turn injuries into completely healed and integrated new tissue. As we age, this process is repeated hundreds of thousands of times, allowing tiny errors or incomplete healing events to become arthritis, torn connective tissue, and chronic pain.
Regenerative medicine approaches this challenge by harnessing the power of the body’s ownhealing process, using scientific knowledge to target and restore the weak points. Decades of research have shown that the body’s own cells and proteins, those used in the normal healing process, can be collected, concentrated, and applied to orthopedic and spinal pain, often allowing patients to avoid more invasive
More than 40 years ago, researchers discovered that adult stem cells found in bone marrow could form a variety of tissues. These cells naturally exist in the adult human body, and their purpose is to form new cartilage, bone, and connective tissue in addition to powerfully signaling their neighbor cells to control inflammation.
Adult stem cells from bone marrow are currently used to treat many types of chronic pain and degeneration including shoulder, knee, hip, spine, soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament), and bone injuries.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT ARE ADULT STEM CELLS?
Adult stem cells are the powerful cells left behind during the process of growth and development from an embryo into a fully formed human being. They are present in a variety of tissues and organs in the adult human body, but doctors and researchers in the US have optimized the efficacy and safety of acquiring them from the hip bone.
WHERE DO ADULT STEM CELLS COME FROM?
In adults, stem cells are present within a variety of tissues and organs. Due to ease of use and decades of history and optimization, bone marrow from the hip bone is the most commonly used source of adult stem cells in the US.
HOW ARE ADULT STEM CELLS OBTAINED AND PREPARED?
During your adult stem cell therapy procedure, the doctor uses a needle to withdraw bone marrow from your posterior Iliac crest (lower back area). A trained nurse or technician then uses specifically designed equipment to concentrate the adult stem cells and growth factors in the bone marrow and returns the concentrated material for use as deemed appropriate by the physician.
WILL MY BODY REJECT THE ADULT STEM CELLS?
No. The cells come from and are used in your own body, so the threat of rejection is miniscule to none.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BONE MARROW CELL THERAPY AND PLATELET-RICH PLASMA (PRP) THERAPY?
PRP, which comes from blood, is an indirect therapy. Stem cells respond to growth factors like the ones found in platelets. PRP’s success depends on the presence of stem cells in the environment and their ability to relocate in response to the presence of growth factors in PRP. In contrast, bone marrow cell therapy is a direct therapy. Within the bone marrow are adult stem cells, platelets, and growth factors. Not only does bone marrow cell therapy do the job of PRP therapy, but it also contains the active adult stem cells, which are vital to the healing process.
ARE MY STEM CELLS TOO OLD TO USE?
Absolutely not. Cells derived from patients well into their 70s have been successfully used for orthopedic applications, and the world’s foremost clinician researcher, Dr. Phillippe Hernigou, recently presented data showing that he has used cells from 90+ year old patients to successfully treat knee arthritis and pain.
WHAT ABOUT EMBRYONIC/AMNIOTIC/CORD BLOOD STEM CELLS?
Any cell that does not come from your own body will be inferior to your own cells for one reason: they are foreign. Your immune system has a simple job: identify foreign cells/materials, and destroy them. This is why organ transplant recipients must take anti-rejection drugs as long as they live. They have to keep their immune system from doing its job in order to keep their transplanted organ. If a practitioner chooses to treat a patient with any cell type that is not the patient’s own cells, and that patient is not on anti-rejection drugs, the immune system will recognize the transplanted cells as foreign and clear them. Using your own cells is the only way
to ensure that they will be accepted by your body.
IS THIS THERAPY CLEARED BY THE FDA?
Doctors draw bone marrow from your hip and then concentrate it using an FDA-cleared device. Unlike procedures which process fat with enzymes or use living foreign cells like amniotic products, bone marrow concentration is carried out using your own cells with minimal manipulation, which meets the FDA’s definition of the practice of medicine.
WILL MY INSURANCE COVER THIS PROCEDURE?
While adult stem cells have been used for decades to treat a variety of diseases, their application in the treatment of pain is relatively new. Because of this, insurance companies do not currently cover the therapy.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The cost of a stem cell treatment varies based on the procedure performed. Our office staff can assist you with payment options and any other questions you may have.