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Articles by Body Part

Regenerative Therapies for Bone Bruises at StemCell ARTS

If you are a Washington DC sports fan, you might have seen the injury heard around the DMV. Bryce Harper with the Washington Nationals baseball team slipped on a wet base, went airborne, and landed on his side, clutching his knee in agony. An MRI found that found it was a ‘bone bruise’ and not anything more serious such as a torn ligament or tendon. Symptoms of bone bruises include: stiffness, swelling, tenderness, and possible fluid build-up. Although still touted as fairly serious, he is slated to return before the end of the season. Harper is considered lucky in comparison to many professional athletes who suffer career-ending injuries.

Treatments Available

Not all bone bruises are serious and can be treated at home with rest and ice. However, for those that require more complex treatments, we are able to offer minimally invasive procedures to help speed up the healing process. These areas are weakened and more likely to suffer from micro fractures and are more susceptible for degeneration. According to the International Orthopedic Foundation, no athlete with diagnosed bone swelling returned to play after their ACL surgery. Stem cells and platelets would be able to help heal the bone bruise, and strengthen the area to protect it against future injuries. Since there is little down time for these treatments, athletes are able to return to their sport faster.

Check out Dr. Centeno’s blog regarding ACL surgeries with bone bruises, and some of the interesting data they’ve collected on the downside of surgical interventions!

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Patients Experiencing Pain After Total Joint Replacements

One of the main questions that we get asked, is if our procedures are able to help those who have been recommended by their physician to receive a total joint replacement, and the answer is yes! Many people are afraid of the complications and hardware that accompany surgical procedures, which is understandable. We see many patients who are still experiencing pain after their total joint replacement.

Studies on Post-Surgical Pain

In a peer-reviewed journal published in 2011, researchers surveyed 632 total knee (TKR) and total hip replacement (THR) patients. 44% of total knee and 27% of total hip replacement patients reported experiencing pain (of any severity) months to years after their procedure.; with 15% of TKR and 6% of THR patients experiencing severe to extreme, persistent pain. Major depression, and referred pain in other body parts was found to be common in patients with severe pain. Total joint replacements are not small medical procedures, so while it is common for some patients to feel some pain, more persistent and severe pain can occur in others and affect mood and other body parts.

StemCell ARTS Solution

At StemCell ARTS, we are able to provide patients with minimally invasive alternatives to surgery. We are seeing more patients actively trying to avoid total joint replacements, and we hope that we can help! Our stem cell and platelet procedures contain powerful growth factors to help heal sprains, tears, and slow down the progression of arthritis. Make our appointment with us today, to see if you are a good candidate to avoid surgery!

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Did You Know….?

Regenexx collects patient data to track outcomes! Patients fill out a survey that provides a look in your baseline pain and activities before our stem cell or platelet procedures. They (Regenexx) then follow up with patients every few months, and then years to record your progress.

Patient Database

We currently have about 3,500 patients who have completed a same-day stem cell procedure for knee arthritis. Only 3.57% of these patients reported that they had converted to a knee replacement after the stem cell series. The rate of patients who opt to receive a total knee replacement despite our very specific protocols, is low; which is what our physicians want as an outcome for our stem cell procedures.

How often do knee replacements after stem cell treatment happen? Not often but it does happen, and we believe in transparency. This is a procedure that can produce great results, but like all medical procedures, it can also fail to work.

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Stem Cells for Frozen Shoulders

Adhesive capsulitis, also known as ‘frozen shoulder’ is a common condition that affects about 3% of the population. It affects the joint capsule and ‘freezes’ it so range of motion is greatly diminished. Often, frozen shoulders clear up within a year, for those with permanently restricted ROM, there are few treatments out there for them, especially if they suffer from arthritis as well.

Solutions Offered at StemCell ARTS

Those who wish to receive stem cell treatments and are diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis, do not make the best candidates. However, our physicians here at StemCell ARTS use a technique called “joint expansion injections” in an attempt to expand the joint in order for stem cells to proliferate in the joint. Expansion injections are typically performed in a set of three, one injection for three weeks. Patients come into the office where our physician injects the affected joint with 30cc or more of a saline and anesthetic solution under fluoroscopic guidance. The idea of these injections is to break the cycle of inflammation and contraction of the joint. No more than 2 hours afterwards, patients attend a physical therapy session where the therapist works on stretching and expanding the joint. This would typically be fairly uncomfortable, but the anesthetic from the injection helps counter the pain. After the series is complete, patients are often considered better candidates for the stem cell series because most, if not all, of their range of motion has returned.

Check out our website to see if we can help with your shoulders!

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Regenexx Helps College Athletes Avoid Surgery!

Collegiate and even high school athletes are intense. They practice and train extensively in hopes of obtaining scholarships or getting signed to a professional league. However, pushing a growing body to its limits has a downfall; they are more prone to injuries. Although their bodies heal faster, they are more likely to keep training on an injury despite their physicians and parents’ protests. This can ultimately exacerbate, the body part and cause more serious harm.

Treatment Plans

Athletes require non-invasive procedures that will allow them to return to training with little to no downtime. At StemCell ARTS, we are able to offer treatments that get these young athletes back into their sport within a few weeks! Experienced physicians here are able to create customized treatments plans with patients’ intense practice schedules in mind. Our doctors will also provide detailed rehab protocols post-procedure so patients do not overexert themselves. Minor sprains, strains and tears are often able to be treated with Prolotherapy or Platelet Rich Plasma. For those with more extensive injuries, our physicians might recommended our Stem Cell series.

See how our Regenexx procedures were able to help heal a college hurdler, who was given the surgery ultimatum!

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Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month!

Here at StemCell ARTS, we have seen a recent trend with younger and younger patients. These are intense athletes with aspirations of playing in college and hopefully professionally. Injuries and orthopedic surgeries at an age where children are still developing, puts them at a higher risk for the development of juvenile arthritis. Symptoms manifest much like arthritis in adults, where there is characteristic swelling redness and pain in their joints. Each year, more than 300,000 children are diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. Although there is not yet a cure for it, we are able to provide them with non-surgical solutions to their injuries to help avoid surgery and slow the onset of arthritis.

Common Injuries

The most common problems we see are ACL injuries. These can occur during running, impact and quick changes in direction, most commonly found in sports such as basketball, soccer, and lacrosse. Often, common strains and sprains are able to be treated with Prolotherapy or Platelet Rich Plasma injections. However, for those with more extensive injuries such as tears, we have stem cells to help them heal and get back into the game and their aspirations sooner!

Watch Dr. Newton explain how even a slight injury can end someone’s career for the season, and how we can help avoid that!

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Alternatives to Spinal Stenosis Surgery

Often, when patients are diagnosed with spinal stenosis, the only solution most physicians and surgeons give them is surgery. Stenosis occurs when there is a narrowing in the spinal canal; this narrowing causes trapped nerves which can produce symptoms of sciatica. Weakness, numbness, and tingling (down legs and buttocks) can be a result of these trapped nerves. The most common surgery for spinal stenosis is ‘decompressive laminectomy’. This surgery involves removing a portion of the bone or thickened tissue that is compressing the nerves. Laminectomies are often coupled with spinal fusions in order to provide the back with more support. For those who wish to avoid such an invasive procedure, StemCell ARTS with Regenexx has a solution for you!

Regenerative Options

Our physicians are able to provide customized treatment plans for patients suffering from pain due to spinal stenosis. Platelet Lysate is a treatment we utilize for trapped nerves. The process starts with a venous blood draw. After that, we hand process your sample in our state-of-the-art lab, and separate the platelet from red blood cells. We then freeze the platelets and break them open to extract the growth serum inside. These growth factors are then injected by the doctor around the nerves to calm the inflammation.

See how Dr. Centeno helped Kathie overcome the pain from her spinal stenosis in order to help her continue her coral restoration work!

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Avoiding Harmful Epidural Steroid Back Injections

Pinched nerves and herniated discs can cause structural problems in your back, in addition to pain and discomfort. They can also cause weakened core stability in the lumbar spine; pinched nerves can also cause lead to deferred pain your hip and knees! Traditional surgical interventions work by cutting out the herniated portion of the disc. Although it may help relieve pain temporarily, this could lead to further issues as they are removing a necessary portion of the disc. While steroid injections are appropriate treatments for acute and sudden back pain, excessive use of steroids have been shown to cause weakening of the bones. This can eventually lead to fractures, especially in older women.

Epidural Steroid Alternatives

At StemCell ARTS, we are able to provide alternatives to high doses of steroid injections. Platelet Lysate, Prolotherapy, and Platelet Rich Plasma are treatments available here to help reduce inflammation, heal injuries and tighten ligaments.

Watch this video from Regenexx to see how our Platelet Lysate treatment stacks up against the standard epidural!

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