Sports injuries and orthopedic injuries affect millions of active individuals each year, including athletes living in the Thousand Oaks, Van Nuys and Los Angeles, California communities. Orthopedic injuries associated with the shoulder and knee joints can range from a mild sprain to an acute tear or chronic tendon injury. Orthopedic stem cell therapy appears to be beneficial for some conditions and continues to gain popularity as a safe treatment method when traditional measures have failed to heal the injury. Dr. Mark Getelman is available to discuss the many uses of stem cells in a medical setting at his office locations.
An Overview on Orthopedic Stem Cell Therapy
Adult stem cells, also known as autologous stem cells, are readily available and can potentially accelerate healing of certain orthopedic injuries. Unlike the controversial and ethical concerns associated with embryonic and fetal stem cells, orthopedic stem cell therapy utilizing adult stem cells is safe since the stem cells are extracted from the patient’s own body. This form of biologic treatment helps reduce the risks of immune rejection, disease transmission and infection.
In order to perform orthopedic stem cell therapy, a physician must extract a sample of bone marrow from the patient, most commonly from the hip region. The sample of bone marrow is then spun in a centrifuge machine to separate the adult stem cells, platelets and white blood cells from the red blood cells. Once the three healing agents are separated, they are injected directly into the injured tissue to accelerate healing and promote regeneration.
Patients up to 60 years of age can usually achieve tissue regeneration using their own “pluripotent” stem cells. Patients over the age of 60 years typically do not achieve the same healing benefits utilizing their own adult stem cells. This is because the body loses its ability to regenerate stem cells as it naturally ages. Patients over the age of 60 years wishing to undergo orthopedic stem cell therapy may be better managed using a combination of platelet rich plasma (PRP) for accelerated healing and donor (allograft) tissue for regeneration.
Common Uses of Stem Cells in Orthopedic Medicine
Adult stem cells can be used to treat a wide number of sports injuries and orthopedic injuries. Common uses of stem cells include:
- Aiding in healing injured ligaments and tendons
- Addressing cartilage injury in damaged and arthritic joints
- Treating fractures
The uses of stem cells continue to evolve and grow in orthopedic medicine. Many physicians do acknowledge and understand the healing benefits of adult stems, which is why orthopedic stem cell therapy continues to become more popular in treating injuries about the knee and shoulder joints.
If you would like to learn more about the uses of stem cells in orthopedic stem cell therapy, please contact the Thousand Oaks, Van Nuys and Los Angeles, California area office of Dr. Mark Getelman.