The field of regenerative medicine, or stem cell therapy, is an innovative way to help your body heal itself from injury or ailment without medications or invasive surgeries. Stem cell therapy uses stem cells to help regenerate injured tissue by promoting your body’s reparative response in diseased or injured tissue.
Stem cells are essentially a very basic form of a cell -- one that is not yet specialized in the job it's supposed to do for your body. Researchers grow stem cells in a lab and manipulate the cells so they become specific types of cells that are needed, such as ones to repair blood cells or heart cells. Stem cells can come from bone marrow, belly fat (adipose), or umbilical cords. Arrowhead Physical Medicine uses amniotic allograft cells for treatment.
Stem cells promote healing because your body can turn them into whatever type of new cells it needs to heal torn ligaments, or repair muscles and cartilage in injured or degenerative joints, such as ones with arthritis. The doctors inject the stem cells into the area of your body that is injured or needs to grow new tissue.
Many patients choose to get protein-rich plasma (PRP) therapy along with the stem cell injections since both therapies work together to promote new growth and optimize conditions for healing the joint being treated. PRP is plasma with a higher concentration of platelets. The doctors draw a small amount of blood from your body, remove the platelets, mix them with a small amount of plasma, and inject it into the treatment area.
Stem cell therapies for adults to treat such conditions as osteoarthritis (OA) in knee joints is considered safe, because it doesn’t come with the same side effects as more invasive medical procedures or surgeries. The risk of infection at the site of stem cell injection is relatively low, and aside from temporary swelling and pain, side effects are minimal. There’s no risk of rejection or allergic reaction because the patient’s own stem cells are used.
To learn more about stem cell therapy as part of your healing process, call the office or schedule a consultation. The expert medical team at Arrowhead Physical Medicine will answer all your questions and explain this innovative regenerative therapy to patients who can benefit from it.