What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy, or regenerative medicine, involves the use of stem cells to stimulate the body’s natural repair mechanisms to repair, regenerate or replace damaged cells, tissues and organs. A stem cell is defined by its ability to regenerate indefinitely, meaning they can divide to produce more cells. They also have the ability to differentiate or become every type of tissue in the body. This therapy is very safe, ethical and does not entail the use of any fetal or embryonic cells or tissue. It has been described as the future of medicine by many prestigious groups including the National Institutes of Health and the Institute of Medicine.
The field of stem cell therapy continues to evolve, focusing on cures rather than just treatments for essentially all types of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as various forms of arthritis and various orthopedic problems. When cells are transplanted into a patient they do not stay for more than a few days but provide a large and robust stimulus to turn on native repair mechanisms. The number of stem cells present in the body and their functional capacity to repair damaged tissue declines with each advancing decade of life, and chronic diseases further impede their ability to respond to chronic injury or damage in the body. This is why research has led to new solutions, which include the use of umbilical cord and amniotic fluid as the source of cells, which have the most potent ability to generate new tissues without risk of rejection.
What is Tissue Engineering?
Tissue engineering is an important part of the field of stem cell therapy, and provides additional help for maintaining, improving, and restoring damaged tissues, including whole organs. It is increasingly important and needed for patients who are experiencing progressive pain and damage to joints such as knees, hips and shoulders, as it uses very young cells and tissue which have the greatest capacity to heal. Some engineered tissues have already received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cartilage and artificial skin are an example.
Why is Stem Cell Therapy superior to a joint replacement?
Pain is the almost uniform indication that leads patients to consider undergoing joint replacement. It is typically due to loss of the cartilage that should be present to protect the joint from having bone-on-bone contact that is the source of severe pain that so limits functional capacity and quality of life. The only previous approach to treating this pain was to replace the joint with an artificial joint. That is an irreversible treatment that is expensive and requires significant surgery and recovery time.
The Advanced Regenerative Orthopedics Approach:
Stem cell therapy and tissue engineering are a much simpler and effective option that uses very powerful young cells to stimulate the patient’s own native repair mechanisms to regenerate new cartilage and bone. The treatment at ARO is a complete treatment approach to reduce the disabling pain, and includes:
- The use of the youngest and most potent Stem Cells and Tissues that are delivered into the joint to help build new cartilage.
- The use of Arthroscopy, or direct visualization of the joint by a trained orthopedic surgeon to repair damaged tissue and other sources of pain through very small incisions.
- Direct ablation of the nerves in the joint that are the source of the pain, by a trained pain medicine physician.
Stem cell therapy is the future of bone and joint problems. Many experts estimate that it will markedly reduce the use of joint replacements in the near future. Please contact us for a no-cost evaluation to see if you are eligible for this new and superior alternative to joint replacement.