Placement is Everything
Currently there are numerous ways in which stem cells are being administered.
When injected intravenously a majority of the stem cells are trapped in the lungs.
When treating cartilage defects, does it matter how the cells are injected?
Koga et al.,clearly demonstrated that it does matter. He injected cells in a variety of ways including into the joint vs directly into the cartilage defect. Cells placed directly into the cartilage defect resulted in more than 60% of the stem cells adhering to the area of damage and significant cartilage growth at 24 weeks.
A Colorado practice utilizes intermittent x-ray to inject autologous mesenchymal stem cells directly into areas of cartilage damage. This technique avoids the risks and time associated with traditional surgical approaches. MRI images before and after stem cell therapy tell the story.
What are adult stem cells? They are cells within our body that can renew themselves and turn into other cells (differentiate). Conceptually they can be thought of as the repairmen of the body. They live inside us in various tissues, poised to leap into action to repair damage as it occurs. The problem is that as we age or get larger injuries, our bodies are unable to recruit sufficient number of stem cells to fully repair the area of damage.
There are many different types of adult stem cells but the most common are called hematopoetic stem cells. What does this mean. These are adult stem cells that will change (differentiate) into blood (hematopoetic) products such as red blood cells or platelet. Hematopoetic stem cells are easy to obtain from a peripheral blood or from bone marrow. They are very plentiful in both blood and bone marrow. Unfortunately many ” stem cell therapies” are employing these hematopoetic stem cells due to the abundance and ease to access. Such is the case with bone marrow aspirate concentrates which are bedside units that concentrate cells obtained from one’s bone marrow.
Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Unit
Unfortunately for patients, despite the advertised claims, these cells can only differentiate into blood products.
Stem cells associated with regeneration of damaged tendon, ligament, bone or disc are termed mesenchymal stem cell (MSC).
Mesenchymal Stem Cell
MSC’s can not be harvested from blood nor can they be obtained in clinically significant numbers from bedside bone marrow aspirate concentrates. Herein lies the critical difference between current therapy and Regenexx. Regenexx isolates MSC’s and then expands them so that you as a patient have the critical number of MSC’s to repair damaged tissue. Regnexx uses your own stem cells and expands them for a variety of orthopedic aplications.
Knee surgery rehabilitation varies on the type of surgery performed.
Knee surgery rehabilitation is often minimal in patients who undergone knee arthroscopy.
Knee surgery rehabilitation is extensive for patients who undergo microfracture or total knee replacement. Knee surgery rehabilitation is often painful and requires large amounts of time at a physical therapy office.
Repair of damaged knee cartilage or meniscus does not always require surgery. The benefit of arthroscopy, a surgical procedure in which the surgeon places a small camera into the knee joint through small incisions has recently been questioned. Kirkley et al in the New England Journal of Medicine published a study that demonstrated knee arthroscopy in patients with osteoarthritis had no better outcomes that those that were treated with physical therapy and medicine.
Englund et al also questioned the utility of surgery on the meniscus when most meniscal tears are not associated with pain and only increase in prevalence with age.
Regenexx affords patients with knee pain and damaged cartilage and meniscus a non-surgical option. Regenexx utilizes a patients own stem cells to grow knee cartilage. Centeno et al demonstrated on MRI an increase in knee cartilage in patients who had undergone the Regenexx procedure. Patients are not exposed to the inherent risks of general anesthesia or surgery. The Regenexx procedure is a simple needle in, needle out procedure where a patients own stem cells are injected under x-ray guidance to the area of damage. Please review our patient testimonials.
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