If you are suffering from arthritis, degenerative joint disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or other conditions that have led to cartilage damage in your joints, you may have been thinking about joint replacement. Joint replacement surgery is now a viable and effective option for many people. However, traditional joint replacements are surgically invasive, and the results are often short-lived. Stem cell therapy and PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy offer two different ways to improve the way your body heals itself.
1. What are Stem cells?
Stem cells are the body’s master cells. They are responsible for creating the other cell types in the body and repairing damaged tissue. They can be found in many different areas of the body, including bone marrow, blood, fat, and placenta. Stem cell are unspecialized cells that can divide through mitosis to produce more stem cells or differentiates into a more specialized type of cell. Examples include:
A hematopoietic stem cell is a pluripotent hematopoietic cell that gives rise to all types of blood cells (including erythrocytes and leukocytes) through several pathways. A mesenchymal stem cell (MSC), also known as a bone marrow stromal cell or bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell (BMSC), is a multipotent adult stem cell thought to be involved in tissue repair and regeneration. MSCs have been identified in human bone marrow, adipose tissue, peripheral blood, umbilical cord blood, and cord matrix.
Placental mesenchymal stem cells (pMSCs) are multipotent adult stem cells derived from the placenta. They have been found to be able to differentiate into osteoblasts, adipocytes, chondrocytes, myocytes, and endothelial cells. The ability of pMSCs to differentiate into various types of connective tissue makes them valuable research tools for studying developmental biology and disease pathogenesis.
2. What is platelet-rich plasma?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a concentrated blood sample that contains growth factors and other healing proteins that help heal damaged tissue. There are two main types of PRP:
Autologous (or autologous) PRP
Autologous means using your own blood to make platelet-rich plasma. The doctor takes a small amount of blood from your arm and centrifuges it to separate the platelets, which are then injected directly into the affected area.
Allogenic (or allogeneic) PRP
Allogenic means using someone else’s blood to make platelet-rich plasma. Doctors use a special centrifuge to separate the platelets from donor blood. These platelets are then injected directly into the affected area.
3. How does the procedure work
The first step is to collect your fat cells. Your Regenerative Medicine & Orthopedics doctor in Miami will insert a needle into your hip or abdomen and withdraw the fat cells through a small incision or suction device. The fat cells are then processed in a laboratory to isolate the Stem cells, which are then injected into the problem area. Stem cell injections can be combined with other treatments, such as platelet-rich plasma.
Stem cell therapy for joint pain isn’t just about injecting Stem cells into the joint. It’s about getting those Stem cells to travel around your body and find their way back to their source — your joints. This can take weeks or months after treatment. In fact, many people see results long before they feel better because their bodies are working hard behind the scenes to heal themselves naturally.
4. Who can have a Stem cell procedure?
Stem cell therapy is not recommended for people who have cancer or active infection in the joint being treated. If there is an infection in the area where the Stem cells will be injected, it may cause more harm than good. People who are pregnant should not receive stem cell injections due to safety concerns related to the fetus’s health and development.
Stem cell therapy is recommended for individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip in adults who have not responded to traditional treatments such as physical therapy and pain medications.
5. What are the advantages of Stem cell treatment over joint replacement?
The major advantage of Stem cell therapy over joint replacement is that it is a natural process and not a surgical procedure. It involves the use of your own Stem cells to heal and regenerate damaged tissue. The Stem cells are used for repairing damaged articular cartilage, ligaments, tendons, meniscus, and other connective tissues. Stem cells do not cause any side effects or complications as they are your body’s own cells. They have the ability to grow into any type of tissue in the body.
6. Why is it important for a qualified professional to conduct an SC/PRP procedure?
The first thing that you should know is those stem cell procedures can only be performed by a licensed professional who understands regenerative medicine and orthopedics. This means that if you try to do it on your own, your insurance won’t cover any of the costs associated with the procedure because they won’t recognize it as legitimate or safe.
The second thing to consider is that not all stem cell procedures are created equal. The key to finding a qualified professional is knowing what questions to ask when researching their credentials and background.
Do they have extensive experience in performing stem cell therapy? If so, how many times have they done it? What qualifications do they have? Can they provide references from previous patients? These are all important questions that you should ask when evaluating potential doctors or clinics before making a decision about where you want to go for treatment.
7. What is the healing time bracket for a stem cell procedure?
The healing time brackets for a Stem cell procedure for joints and tendons is anywhere between 2 weeks to 6 months. The time depends on the type of injury, the severity of the injury, and your own body’s healing abilities. The process of healing from Stem cell procedure therapy is similar to that of other treatments such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP). PRP treatment typically requires 3-6 months before you can see any significant results.