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.”
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!
High Quality Concentrated Fish Oils Can Help with Arthritis Pain!
Recent studies have shown that fish oils and the Omega fatty acids they contain can help your body combat arthritis pain. Our bodies are able to produce most of the essential fats that we need, however that is not true for Omega-3s. These nutrients must come from an outside source such as fatty fish like salmon or from high quality over the counter fish oil capsules. They have been proven to provide those patients suffering from arthritis pain with some relief. It is widely considered to be a safer alternative than over the counter NSAIDs, and some research has shown that patients no longer have to rely on NSAIDs and only routinely take Omega-3s.
These supplements will affect each patient differently, and therefore not recommended for everyone. For those considering regenerative treatments in our clinic, our physicians may suggest a high quality fish oil from a company called Xymogen in order to help before, during, and after your platelet treatments. Please consult with your physician before beginning any supplement regimen.
See what Dr. Christopher Centeno says regarding fish oils and your healing!
Hands are used frequently in most daily activities. As a result, the pain and discomfort caused by arthritis of the hand can negatively impact how people go through daily life. Since hands are used so often, the constant swiveling and pivoting of the joints in the hands easily wear out the joints. Arthritis, especially of the hands, is often thought to happen later in life. However, the persistent motion of the hand joints can cause the condition to appear early in life. This is particularly true of people who use their hands for athletic activities, or those who perform intricate arts and crafts. Previously, surgery was one of the only options for those suffering from arthritis of the hands hoping to relieve the pain.
STEM CELLS TO TREAT HAND ARTHRITIS
Fortunately, StemCell ARTS offers stem cell procedures that help patients achieve pain relief AND avoid surgery. Seem too good to be true? Patients frequently ask if these procedures work and how patients are responding post stem cell procedure. Being part of the Regenexx network of physicians, StemCell ARTS tracks the outcomes of all patients who undergo regenerative procedures with the office. With all Regenexx network affiliates following the same protocol, StemCell ARTS is able to provide outcome data of all patients who have received the same Regenexx procedures across the country.
What does this mean for patients? This means that, when patients ask if these procedures work, StemCell ARTS is able to provide them with data to answer that question. Take the infograph provided in the link, below. This data reflects all 124 patients, as of 2015, who have had stem cells performed to treat hand arthritis. Of the 124 patients, 93 were treated for hand joints, 26 for the wrist, 18 for other hand joints (such as the thumb), and greater than 60% of the patients suffered from severe arthritis. Prior to the stem cell procedures, patients were reporting an average of 5.6 pain level. Post stem cells, the pain level had decreased to an average of 2.9. This means that some pain levels were higher than the 2.9, others were lower. What patients should take from this data is that the average pain level for these 124 patient was cut nearly in half.
Think that stem cell treatment might be right for you? Come see the physicians at StemCell ARTS. They will provide a comprehensive exam and review any imaging. Once the examination is completed, the physicians at StemCell ARTS will provide you will a customized treatment plan that they feel will be most successful in treating each patients’ specific condition.
Common Causes of Hand Pain
In honor of Valentine’s Month, we at StemCell ARTS want to get patients back to being able to use their hands! Though considered to be a smaller joint, those who have conditions that impact the use of the hands, know that pain and discomfort in the hand area is no small inconvenience. There are several different forms of arthritis that can make, even seemingly simple, daily tasks unbearable. Two of the most common conditions that cause debiliation in the little joints of the hands include Osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Osteoarthritis is a chronic condition characterized by the breakdown and loss of cartilage that helps cushion the ends of bones. It can cause stiffness, pain, numbness and loss of movement in the hand. OA most often affects the carpal and metacarpal joints and can even impact up into the wrist area. In finger joints, OA can result to the formation of bony knots also known as Bouchard’s Nodes. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic anti-inflammatory disease that triggers the body to attack the membranes that line the joints. The results are similar to OA, wherein a person may experience swelling, pain, loss of function and, in severe cases, total disability.
The physicians at StemCell ARTS are able to treat Osteoarthritis in these small joints with a variety of treatments ranging from Prolotherapy to Stem Cells. Prolotherapy is a dextrose based solution that can be injected into arthritic joints in order to help trigger the body’s response to send repair cells to the site of injury. For patients with more severe forms of this disease, the physicians might suggest our Stem Cell Treatment, which can greatly slow the progression of arthritis. The physicians at StemCell ARTS use ultrasound guided imaging to inject the prolotherapy, platelets or stem cells right at the site of injury or break down. Click on the video below to hear Dr. Newton describe some common hand issues, and what we can do to help you get back to holding the hand of your loved ones!
When beginning the process of researching regenerative treatment options, patients can be presented with an overwhelming amount of information. This information can often result in more questions. Am I a candidate for regenerative therapies? How can these therapies help treat my condition? What can I do to help make my treatments more successful? Luckily, StemCell ARTS is able to help provide patients with a one-stop-shop to help patients get these questions answered. Dr. Chris Centeno, founder of Regenexx, created a guide that explains how Regenexx is pioneering the new field of Interventional Orthopedics, where the use of regenerative biologic treatments, such as adult stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma, are being used to help repair and strengthen damaged tissues. Utilizing a vast amount of internal data and research, the Orthopedics 2.0 book helps patients better understand their own conditions and how regenerative therapies can play a rital role in their recovery.
You might be asking yourself, “how do I get my hands on this great book?” StemCell ARTS is here to help. Next time you’re in the office, ask the staff for your own copy to take home with you. Looking for more information before scheduling your consultation? We have provided a link below to download your own free digital copy. Happy Reading!
There are so many positive aspects to stem cell therapy. One of the most exciting developments in stem cell treatment is its use for treating arthritis in the knee. For decades, the standard treatment for debilitating knee pain has been knee replacement surgery, which utilizes a metal and plastic prostheses to replace lost cartilage and damaged bone. Regenerative medicine therapies, such as stem cell and platelet treatments (PRP) applied at StemCell ARTS, encourage the growth of new tissue utilizing the body’s natural healing systems. These techniques make regenerative medicine therapies a noninvasive option that can achieve pain relief results as good as, or better than, standard knee replacement surgery.
Prior to selecting the use of stem cell therapy, one question that many candidates ask is: Will my age affect whether or not I can or should have this procedure? The answer is simple. No. When conducting stem cell therapy treatments on patients, age does not matter. That’s right. Patients who are good candidates for regenerative medicine such as stem cell and platelet therapies are suitable candidates regardless of their age.
Over the past 4 years, Regenexx has gathered data on over 1000 cases of knee stem cell treatments on patients to help them understand how well these regenerative procedures impact knee osteoarthritis. The data has shown, in terms of the success and benefits of regenerative treatments, there is “no association between age and doing better or worse” (1). So age does not matter! At StemCell ARTS, we utilize the Regenexx protocols for stem cell treatments with all our patients to ensure these positive results.
The data from the registry looked at two different age groups, those under age 45 and those 45 or older, at intervals of 1, 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months. Across all intervals, the success rates were consistent regardless of the age of the patients. It is important to note that the treatment registry is not the equivalent of a controlled clinical study. Nevertheless, the data shows that patients are reporting good results from the Regenexx procedure.
Why Doesn’t Age Matter?
Because stem cell therapy uses the patient’s own stem cells as a catalyst for healing, these stem cells act as a ‘booster’ for the body’s natural healing process, encouraging the body to do what it has been designed to do naturally. This extra boost is a huge benefit to older patients, since in most cases the speed and strength of the body’s natural healing ability has slowed with age.
Age is typically not a factor in our regenerative procedures because the Regenexx treatment protocols call for changes that take into consideration the patients age. This means that each patient receives a customized approach specific for their age. Other factors such as the type of injury, the severity of the injury, the activity demands of the patient also call for changes in the standard protocols. All of this makes the Regenexx protocols the very best treatments available to help your body heal. No matter what your age!
If you are suffering from knee arthritis or any of the other orthopedic injuries treatable with stem cell therapy, you are encouraged to speak with one of our doctors. A regenerative procedure could give you the pain relief you are looking for.
An orthopedic surgeon recently compared patients suffering from hip arthritis, where he performed traditional hip replacement surgery on one group and used the latest stem cell treatment on another group. He found that the patients receiving stem cell treatments experienced more range of motion a year after receiving treatment than patients receiving hip replacement surgery. He also found that 73% of the patients that received the stem cell treatment were able to return to sporting activities. In terms of overall functional scores, patients receiving stem treatments were very similar to the surgery group, with the surgery group receiving a slightly better score for pain management. However, when you compare the invasiveness of surgery to stem cell therapy, the advantages of stem cell treatments are striking.
Traditional hip surgery can range from removing the ball of the femur and replacing it with a metal ball to a total hip replacement. With a complete hip replacement, the entire head of the femur is removed and a metal prosthesis is hammered into place on the hip bone as well as the socket on the pelvis. Risks with these types of surgical procedures include:
After a hip replacement, the materials involved wear down over time, meaning that a hip revision surgery might be required at some point to replace failing implants. This surgery can be longer and even more involved that the original procedure.
Biologic regenerative treatments, such as Stem Cell Therapy, are much less invasive procedures with a quicker return to normal daily activity when compared to surgery. To maximize healing, Stem Cell treatments are used with other leading treatments in the field including Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Platelet Lysate therapy. In certain cases, a patient’s unique medical condition or circumstance may preclude utilizing the benefits of all treatments used together. In this case, a customized plan is developed using one or more of the treatments to obtain the best patient outcomes possible. While sometimes there is no good alternative to surgical repair, most often biologic repair offers a better option.
Stem Cell therapy makes use of the supply of stem cells available in the body to help repair injured and degenerated tissues. The easiest place to harvest these stem cells is from the back of the hip area, under ultrasound or x-ray guidance. This harvesting procedure is well tolerated by patients and not considered difficult as many patients claim it is not painful.
After bone marrow blood is drawn, it is centrifuged to concentrate and purify the stem cells, with each stem cell specimen custom designed to meet the needs of the specific injury. Utilizing either fluoroscopy or ultrasound, the stem cells are placed on the injured site precisely to improve the likelihood that stem cells will adhere to the damaged area and promote healing. After the stem cells are placed, concentrated platelets and other adjuvants are injected to stimulate the stem cells to multiply, and then transform into the repair cells needed to regenerate new tissue. The platelets are injected again 2-5 days later to keep the stem cells activated and promote additional healing.
Injected 2-5 days before the stem cells, Prolotherapy contains a solution of concentrated dextrose and local anesthetic (steroids are not used). This solution stimulates the body’s natural ability to repair damaged tissue, encouraging new growth and creating a positive environment into which the stem cells are placed.
Platelets initiate tissue repair by releasing growth factors. These growth factors start the healing process by attracting cells that repair us including critical stem cells. Platelet Rich Plasma therapy intensifies this process by delivering a higher concentration of platelets. The therapy involves a small sample of the patient’s blood placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the other blood components. The concentrated PRP is then injected into and around the point of injury, significantly strengthening the body’s natural healing. Our process for PRP is much different and sets us apart. Because our samples are all hand processed, we are able to produce PRP that is free of contaminating red and white cells, which can inhibit repair. This same special process also allows us to customize the concentration and volume for each individual and each injury type. This greatly improves outcomes.
Platelets in the blood release powerful tissue growth factors that aid in the healing process. Normally this occurs slowly over time, but through the creation of a Platelet Lysate solution, a high concentration of growth factors can be released immediately into the body. The result is a targeted, faster healing process. Additionally, there are areas of the body where using traditional PRP may cause too much inflammation. Platelet Lysates are a better option where inflammation may become an issue.
While additional study is needed, the results of biologic regenerative treatments are too promising to ignore. This can be a real solution to alleviate the pain and loss of function from hip arthritis without the drastic approach of surgically cutting open a patient to replace the entire hip.
 Mitchell, B. Sheinkop, MD, The Orthobiologic Institute, “BMAC Intervention Versus Joint Arthroplasty for Arthritis,” results presented to LA Orthobiologic Conference on June 7th, 2013; http://www.regenexx.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/11-MITCHELL-B-SHEINKOP1.pdf
 It should be noted in the Sheinkop study that this was a comparison of patients treated in 2007 with surgery and patients treated in 2011-13 with stem cells. It was not a randomized controlled trial, as that type of study has not yet been conducted for stem cell treatments. It should also be noted that Dr. Sheinkop is a member of the Chicago Regenexx Network, Regenexx is the same treatment offered by Stem Cell Arts.