-80% of adults experience back pain
-most common cause of job-related disability and leading contributor to missed work days
-incidence: men = women
-types: acute (lasts days to a few weeks), subacute (lasting 4-12 weeks), chronic (lasting >12 weeks)
Causes of Low Back Pain:
–age: initial occurrence usually 30-50 years of age
–low level fitness level: weekend warriors or sedentary-during-the-week-but-active-on-weekends folks are at increased risk of low back injury
–weight: increased weight will add stress to the discs and joints
–pregnancy: pelvic changes and weight distribution low and anteriorly stress the lumbar spine
–occupational: heavy lifting, pushing, pulling especially when it involves twisting
–genetics: some folks with have congenital (born with it) predisposition to back pain due to their genetic makeup as in ankylosing spondylosis
How is Low Back Pain Diagnosed?
-physical exam: physician/medical provider
-imaging: MRI, CT, x-rays, bone scans, blood work
How is Low Back Pain Treated?
–Traditional approaches: heat/ice, activity, physiotherapy, medications, chiropractic, traction, acupuncture, biofeedback, nerve blocks and surgery.
–Regenerative therapiesinclude: prolotherapy, platelet rich plasma (PRP), platelet lysate and stem cells. These treatment options are great for pinched nerves causing radiation pain to the hips or legs, facet mediated pain, instability, disc pain or SI joint dysfunction.
–Prolotherapy: is a solution of dextrose, normal saline and local anesthetic, used frequently to improve stability of the ligaments of the lumbar spine and sacrum/pelvis by injecting specific ligaments and supporting structures of the lumbar s: the supraspinous, infraspinous, iliolumbar, deep dorsal ligaments of the SI joint. Joints also benefit from prolotherapy. Therefore, facet joints, hip and sacroiliac joints can also improve low back pain.
–Platelet Rich Plasma: we draw the patient’s blood, like a blood donation, and through specialized lab processing, we collect and concentrate the platelets for reinjection into the joints, tendons and ligaments including: the facet joints, sacroiliac (SI) joints, and lose ligaments and tendons.
–Platelet Lysate: we draw the patient’s blood, like a blood donation. In our office, we have an ISO-5 lab where we are able to process the platelets allowing us to keep all the good content (growth factors, anti-inflammatories, chemotactic factors and signally molecules) and discard the rest. We then inject this concentrated growth milieu into the epidural space and peripheral nerves without irritation (sciatica, radiculopathy).
–Stem Cells: autologous (comes from the patient’s own bone marrow) are very potent progenitor cells that can help injured bone, ligament, tendon, cartilage and muscle to heal. Stem cells are typically used in the spine when there is significant or recalcitrant facet joint pain/osteoarthritis (OA) and/or significant disc degeneration.
All regenerative injections are done under guidance, using musculoskeletal ultrasound and/or fluoroscopy (x-ray).
Results vary depending on extent of injury/degeneration. Usually, a patient will get 1-3 series of injections to maximize their healing response. Not every patient is a candidate. We encourage patients to bring their imaging (x-rays, MRIs, CTs, etc.) that’s been done within 2 years, as this will complement the exam. New imaging can be ordered as well. We are proud to offer the most trusted and effective orthopedic stem cell procedures currently available. We welcome the chance to meet with you and to add you to our list of satisfied patients. Contact us today. Contact us today.
At StemCell ARTS, we love to hear patients provide their experience following regenerative procedures with our practice. It is extremely rewarding to hear tales of patients returning to the activities they love. Mark, a patient under the care of Dr. Rodney Dade in the Tysons Corner, VA office, was an avid runner who had been sidelined with knee pain. Mark provides his experience after undergoing the stem cell series of injections to treat his knee condition, bilaterally.
“This has given me a second chance that I didn’t think I’d ever have. I believe I’ve found the ‘Fountain of Youth.’ I’m extremely glad I decided to do it. I would do it again in a heartbeat. There are other options besides surgery.”
Our StemCell ARTS team recently received amazing recognition from Judy, a patient under the care of Dr. Benjamin Newton in the Chevy Chase, MD office. Judy provides her experience after undergoing Platelet Rich Plasma and Platelet Lysate injections to treat her cervical spine.
I was seen in August for my 2nd PRP treatment. I am thrilled to say that I can really see and feel the difference since my last treatment. Initially it was crazy sore and quite miserable but after about 6 weeks I started to really improve. I was able to travel lugging my own suitcase and back pack throughout London, Paris and Scotland on /off trains /metros / etc. I was so surprised at how well my neck and back did throughout the whole time.
No muscle relaxers or Advil needed the entire trip . I wanted to send a big thank you to Dr. Newton as I have been struggling with pain for over 11 years since my accident.
Our StemCell ARTS team recently received amazing recognition from Lee, a patient under the care of Dr. Robert H. Wagner in the Tysons Corner, VA office. Lee explains her experience after undergoing Platelet Rich Plasma injections to treat her spine.
“I have been receiving PRP treatments from Dr. Wagner for managing spondylolisthesis over the years, and they have worked very well for me. Thanks to Dr. Wagner, I have been able to lead a normal life and do the activities I love like horseback riding.”
Our StemCell ARTS team recently received amazing recognition from Maria, a patient under the care of Dr. Robert H. Wagner in the Tysons Corner, VA office. Maria explains her experience after undergoing the Stem Cell series of injections to treat knee arthritis.
“I have started taking walks and even joined a line dancing group thanks to your work. Every now and then I have pain to the point where I slow down and have to take it easy, at least for a day. With both the right and left knees affected by osteoarthritis I can’t really complain about the mobility that I have at this point on both knees. I am thankful that I had the injection done in the right knee and the stem cell on the left, both treatments have helped me up to this point.”
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.
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!
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!
Regenexx collects patient data to track outcomes! Patients fill out a survey that provides insight regarding 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.
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.