Stem Cell Therapy For Orthopedic Injuries & Arthritis
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Mesenchymal stems cell therapy is a treatment for orthopedic conditions, such as arthritis and sports injuries. The goal is to reduce pain, improve function and enhance healing.
Stem cells used in orthopedic medicine can be taken from the same patient. Although the phrase “stem cells”, is often used. The procedure involves grafting a small amount of body tissue that contains stem cells. Stem cells are usually harvested from pelvic bone marrow, which is known as bone marrow aspirate. Stem cells can also be harvested from a small amount of fat tissue from the abdomen or flank, which is known as lipoaspirate or autologous fat transfer. The bone marrow or fatty tissue is then injected into the target tissue to reinvigorate the healing process.
Umbilical cord blood or tissue, (Wharton’s Jelly) or injectable amniotic products CANNOT be used for orthopedic conditions under current FDA guidelines. These products are going through an FDA approval process. Only an experienced regenerative medicine specialist can best determine the type of treatment that is best for you after a proper evaluation and MRI review. Seek the care of a board-certified physician (MD or DO). The treatment can be done in the office with very little down time. Return to work the next day can be expected in most cases. Dr. Carter practices strictly within the FDA guidelines
Is Stem Cell Therapy Safe?
Stem cell therapy in the form of bone marrow aspirate and lipoaspirate grafting, has been used for decades. However, it is still considered experimental in orthopedic and sports medicine. Stem cell therapy is usually not used as the first step in treating an orthopedic injury. The risk of bone marrow aspirate for stem cell therapy includes infection, prolonged bleeding, pain at the aspiration or donor site. A fat transfer procedure (lipoaspirate), is also very safe. Potential risks include infection, bleeding and mild discomfort at the donor site.
The procedure is considered very safe when done by a licensed, physician (MD or DO) experienced with stem cell therapies. Chiropractors, nurses and physician assistants do not go through the same training as board-certified physicians and in many states are not allowed to provide such services.
Not everyone is a good candidate for stem cell therapy. A proper medical and orthopedic evaluation with imaging is strongly recommended.s
Why Choose Dr. Carter To Do My Stem Cell Treatment?
- Dr. Carter is a Top Doctor and a regenerative medicine specialist. She has years of experience with both bone marrow aspirate and autologous fat transfer procedures. Her success rate with this form of stem cell therapy is over 90%.
- While most physicians require multiple treatments, complete pain relief and improved function after just ONE treatment is often accomplished using Dr. Carter’s protocols.
- Dr. Carter prescribes and uses medication to control injection-related pain before, during, and after the procedure for minimal discomfort.
- Dr. Carter’s offers a complete treatment plan and makes lifestyle recommendations, so her patients get the best long-term results possible from their treatment.
Stem Cell Therapy - FAQ
Q: Can stem cells be used to treat spine and joints?
Q: Does the procedure hurt?
A: If done with proper care and attention, both bone marrow aspirate and autologous fat transfer procedures can be done with minimal discomfort.
Q: Where do the stem cells come from?
A: Bone marrow of the pelvic bone or a small amount of abdominal fat are the usual sources. These are simple in office procedures. Sometimes Dr. Carter combines stem cells with platelet rich plasma (PRP). One source of stem cells may be recommended over another depending on the patient’s age, the type of injury or condition and other factors. Umbilical cord tissue, (Wharton’s Jelly) and injectable amniotic products are not being used at this time in the United States, as they now require FDA approval.
Q: What is the down-time after stem cell therapy?
A: Down time can vary depending on the condition and the patient’s occupation. Most patients can return to work the next day. Exercise activity is often limited for 1-2 weeks after treatment.
Q: Will my insurance pay for stem cell therapy?
A: Insurances almost never pay for stem cell therapy for orthopedic conditions.
Q: How much does stem cell therapy cost?
A: The cost of stem cell treatments can vary depending on the condition being treated and the source of the stem cells. Patients can use our contact form on our website to request an estimate.
Dr. Carter’s patient and respiratory therapist, Robert M. describes his response to a stem cell treatment done with a lipoaspirate fat transfer procedure combined with PRP for knee arthritis. His procedure was done in 2015, and he is still pain free after just ONE treatment!
Fitness and sports enthusiasts of all levels, from weekend warriors to professional athletes have benefited under Dr. Carter’s care. Performing artists with career-threatening injuries have been able to return to their profession with Dr. Carter’s holistic approach to treatment.