Stemcelldoc's Weblog

December 31, 2012

Lumbar Disc Surgery Update: Disappointing

spine surgery

At the Centeno-Schultz Clinic we acknowledge that ow back and leg pain secondary to lumbar disc disease can be disabling. Stem cell therapy is an alternative to traditional back surgery.

Regenexx PL-Disc utilizes platelet growth factors to enhance blood flow and reduce inflammation at affected disc level and adjacent nerve roots. 

PL stands for ‘Platelet Lysate”.  We take our novel Super Concentrated Platelet (SCP) mix and break open all of the platelets to get the growth factors out.  Why?  Just like an immediate release pill, it is sometimes better to have more growth factors available to help stimulate cells towards repair.  So while SCP is like a time released pill which releases growth factors slowly, PL is like an immediate release pill.  Our experience dating back to 2005 has demonstrated that PL works best around nerves.

Poor blood supply is at the heart of why many patients with chronically pinched low back nerves fail to heal.  Regenexx PL-Disc is an out-patient “walk-in/walk-out” injection procedure where patients can immediately return to activity as tolerated.  Blood is drawn from your arm, processed in our lab and the separated platelets are concentrated and injected into the lumbar spine. Unlike conventional PRP injections (platelet rich plasma) PL quickly accelerates stem cell growth. This is because all of the growth factors in the platelets become immediately available to the local stem cells.

Success to date:

Lumbar surgery has been utilized for the treatment of low back pain and sciatica.


Jacobs et al conducted a systematic literature review on the effect of surgical techniques for sciatica due to disc herniation to update the Cochrane review of 2007. Sixteen studies were included: seven from the original review and nine additional studies.

No conclusions can be drawn with regard to the comparative efficacy of open, microscopic, and tubular discectomy surgical techniques to treat sciatica due to a herniated disc.   There was no clinically relevant superiority of either technique.

2013:  Patients beware.  Explore treatment recommendations and ensure that none limit future options.

December 30, 2012

Epidural Steroid Injections: Risks

At the Centeno-Schultz Clinic we acknowledge the pain, frustration and restriction in activity associated lumbar and cervical degenerative disc disease. Advanced treatment options include Regenexx PL where platelet growth factors are injected into the epidural space at the level of the degeneration or injury. The platelet growth factors increase the blood flow and increase inflammation.

High dose epidural steroids are utilized to treat lumbar and cervical disc disorders. Unfortunately the number of complications and risks associated with epidural steroids continues to increase.
significant bone loss

suppression of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis

elevation of blood glucose in diabetic patients

breakdown of  cartilage in animal studies

– ligament failure and breakdown.

In addition there is a signficant increase in the incidence of bone osteonecrosis in patients taking oral steroids.

In 2013 consider the risks associated with steroid injections and investigate the option of platelet derived growth factors.

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