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.
For patients suffering from back pain, there are a number of treatments that can be suggested. Although surgeries of the spine, such as ‘fusions’ or ‘laminectomies’, can sound daunting and invasive, in some instances they are necessary steps to help patient return to a functioning lifestyle. For some patients, these surgeries are successful and patients can resume living their lives pain free. However, for other patients, the pain level post procedure is similar to what was experienced prior to having a surgical procedure of the spine. If surgery fails to resolve the patients pain, are all options exhausted? Are these patients destined to continue with life-limiting pain?
Luckily, StemCell ARTS is able to provide several regenerative treatment options that have helped our patients say “good-bye” to their post-surgical pain. Our procedure use the patients’ body’s own biologics to help itself heal. Our trained phlebotomists take a sample of the patients’ blood and process this, by hand, in the lab found in each of the StemCell ARTS offices. The blood is placed into a centrifuge that spins the blood at high speeds to separate the platelets from red blood cells. Those platelets are further processed and concentrated depending on their specific use. In Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), the platelets are injected into, and around the point of injury to jump start the body’s natural healing curve. For Platelet Lysate (PL), the platelets are frozen and broken open for immediate release. PL is recommended by the regenerative physician when PRP may be expected to cause too much inflammation. PL may also be suggested if the patient needs prompt relief since this procedure is comparable to a cortisone injection, but with the body’s own platelets in lieu of steroids.
One patient shares his story about how StemCell ARTS helped him regain his life following his spinal decompression surgery. When surgery failed to provide the necessary pain relief, Judge Thomas Moore sought the regenerative procedures offered at StemCell ARTS. Read more to see how our procedures changed Judge Moore’s life!
52Thursdays is prominent fashion and lifestyle blog, covering both the east and west coasts. The blog has been featured in Northern Virginia Magazine and Brightest Young Things, among many others. The blog focuses on style, beauty, fitness, and travel. Sarah Phillips, co-founder of 52Thursdays, is located in the Northern Virginia area. She shares her experiences with local businesses, physical fitness, etc. with her followers. When reading her blog posts, it is easy to see that Sarah is a big fan of staying fit. Her go to source of activity includes CrossFit. However, she participates in numerous other physical activities to keep herself healthy. Her active lifestyle was threatened when she began to experience pain and locking in her hip area.
Sarah sought medical attention and was recommended a MRI to evaluate the pain in the hip. Sarah was discouraged when the MRI findings showed that she had suffered a labral tear. Hip labral tears are common injuries among athletes. Hyperflexion and squatting motions can result in mechanical injury to the labrum. Since squats are nearly unavoidable when participating in strength training, Sarah’s injury had begun to impact her exercise and fitness routine. Sarah decided to explore her options for treating the hip labral tear. She looked into Physical Therapy, activity modification, and met with some orthopedic surgeons to discuss surgical interventions. Her research led Sarah to Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and StemCell ARTS. Sarah has undergone two PRP treatments and is chronicling her experience with the procedures and StemCell ARTS. Sarah is showing signs of improvement and will follow up with StemCell ARTS six weeks following her last PRP treatment to evaluate her progress and determine next steps in treatment, if any further treatments are required. To read Sarah’s, more detailed, account of her injury and experience with StemCell ARTS, click the link below.
For those interested in getting involved in an exercise routine, it is hard not to come across the world of CrossFit. Over the past couple years, there has been a significant increase in this fitness regime that combines resistance and aerobic exercise. Unfortunately, CrossFit often gets a bad rap due to its perceived propensity to cause injury. Shoulder injuries are particularly common due to the athletes performing snatches and other complex overhead movements. Typically, when one sustains shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tears, the first visit is to a surgeon. Research has shown that surgery may not be the answer. Fortunately, StemCell ARTS offers patients suffering from shoulder injuries an alternative to treating their shoulder conditions, while avoiding invasive surgical procedures.
Why is this so important to CrossFit athletes? Or anyone, for that matter?
Avoiding surgery also allows the patient to avoid the downtime and recovery that is typically associated with shoulder surgery. Patients are able to get back to the activities that they love, sooner than the patients who undergo surgical procedures. For CrossFit athletes, this means getting back in the gym faster and the ability to keep improving on their fitness. For patients outside of CrossFit, they are able to continue their day to day activity, without much interruption following a regenerative procedure.
Below, you will find a link to an article that features a CrossFit athlete treated by one of the physicians at StemCell ARTS. Bill, a high-level CrossFit athlete was able to avoid surgery to repair his rotator cuff by electing to proceed with the stem cell procedure offered at StemCell ARTS. Click the link below to read more about how Bill is doing following his stem cell procedure and learn more about why shoulder surgery may not be the way to go.
Regenerative therapies are gaining more and more popularity within multiple modalities of the health care field. Orthopedic practices, in particular, are seeing an increase in patients due to professional athletes sharing their experiences with stem cells and platelets for treatment of sports injuries and orthopedic conditions. With orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine professionals, etc. offering regenerative therapies, how does a patient determine which practice is best?
At StemCell ARTS, we use the Regenexx method of processing to produce, what we believe, is the most concentrated and pure version of stem cell and platelets to inject at the patients’ site of injury. What does the Regenexx method of processing mean? Most practices utilizing regenerative therapy as a form of treatment use machines called “bedside centrifuges” to process the regenerative samples. These samples can be full of red and white blood cells and only produce a concentration of 5-7x the concentration found in the human body. By processing the samples by hand, StemCell ARTS is able to produce a pure sample, free of red and white blood cells. We can also increase the concentration to much higher levels.
Not only is Regenexx and StemCell ARTS ahead of the game when it comes to the processing of regenerative therapies, but are also responsible for over 33% of all published articles regarding regenerative therapies. Regenexx is a research consortium that combines the knowledge and experience of over 30 physicians across the country. Regenexx researchers compile this information to consistently examine and improve the method of processing and injection of regenerative therapies.
The video below includes commentary from Dr. Chris Centeno, founder of Regenexx, and describes how the idea of utilizing regenerative therapies for interventional orthopedics came to fruition. By understanding the story behind Regenexx, we hope that patients will see what sets Regenexx-affiliated clinics, like StemCell ARTS, apart from the rest!
A condition commonly known as “Tennis Elbow”, lateral epicondylitis develops as a result of overuse of the muscles in the forearm. Simple daily activities such as repeated lifting, twisting or gripping can cause inflammation of the tendons and occasionally result in a series of small tears, generating significant pain.
The elbow joint is comprised of three bones joining the upper arm with the lower forearm. This joint is supported by surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments. As the inflammation increases, the pain can become severe and limit daily activities. Traditionally, to combat the pain, patients turn to over-the-counter anti-inflammatories or corticosteroid injections. While these measures may temporarily reduce the pain, they can also slow down the healing process. As the body’s ability to heal the area becomes inhibited, the inflammation can no longer be reduced, resulting in chronic elbow pain.
New regenerative treatments use a patient’s biological material to heal lateral epicondylitis. A recent study has found that patients suffering from elbow pain reported a significantly larger improvement in pain following a PRP injection, as opposed to a cortisone injection. Following the Regenexx PRP protocol, whole blood is drawn from the patient and isolated in the onsite lab; removing all of the contaminating red and white cells. From there, the platelets are concentrated and injected into the joint where the growth factors attract repair cells to the site of injury and start the healing process. Usually, within 2-3 sessions, patients experience an improvement in pain and function. Patients are able to return to normal activity without undergoing invasive surgery.
…StemCell ARTS has created a Facebook Patient Discussion Forum?
Our goal is to create an open discussion forum for patients who are interested in, or have had, the regenerative procedures performed at StemCell ARTS. Comments will be available to the public. This patient forum will allow patients who have completed consultations with one of our StemCell ARTS physicians to speak with other current patients to help them decide if our regenerative procedures are right for them. In addition, the forum will facilitate an open discussion between patients who have had, or are undergoing, regenerative procedures at StemCell ARTS. They can share their experiences to help eachother through the treatment and recovery process.
The discussion topics and reference materials contained are intended for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for diagnoses or treatment, but rather for discussion with others who have similar questions and concerns regarding our procedures. The information provided is not intended to diagnose health problems, or take the place of professional medical care. The answers in this discussion forum should, in no way, be considered specific medical advice. DO NOT stop or modify your treatment plan without consulting with your physician.
Currently insurances are not recognizing regenerative treatments as a covered service. Although multiple studies have been conducted, and data has been collected, the procedures are still considered “new” and “experimental.” As a result, this leaves patients with a choice; do they opt for a more invasive and sometimes problematic surgery, which is covered under insurance, or do they choose conservative regenerative treatments that are out of pocket? Although they both can be extremely successful, surgery vs. regenerative treatments always raises the question, “is the reward worth the risk?”
For many patients, surgery seems like the best option for pain relief. All of the office visits are covered, along with the surgery and post-surgery rehab. Patients are left to worry about little, other than their recovery. It may seem like insurance has everything covered, but patients still have their copays, high deductibles and coinsurances to worry about. Even though it seems like insurance carries the majority of the cost, most patients find themselves paying a large portion of this “covered” procedure out of their own pockets.
Recognized as a non-covered service, regenerative treatments offer patients the risk of out of pocket expenses, but the reward of non-invasive natural treatments that require little to no down time. New biological treatments offered at StemCell ARTS use the body’s natural healing mechanisms to treat various musculoskeletal conditions without the need for surgery. As a newer treatment in medicine, these procedures, though well supported with data, are currently not covered under any private insurance company.
Although the full cost is the patient’s responsibility, the Regenexx Protocol used at StemCell ARTS is a perfect example of “you get what you pay for.” With our in-office state of the art lab, we are able to offer patients the most advanced regenerative therapies for musculoskeletal conditions. Our technicians are able to isolate and concentrate each blood and stem cell sample to obtain the purest and strongest product, giving patients the maximum benefit with the minimal amount of treatments.
Before making any decisions or commitments, patients can schedule an initial consultation with one of the physicians at StemCell ARTS to have a comprehensive evaluation. StemCell ARTS participates with the majority of major insurance companies and the initial consultation visit, along with any follow ups, are submitted through the patient’s insurance. The patient will be responsible for their co-payment and deductible while in the office, and the remaining bill will be submitted to insurance for reimbursement.
The pricing for each procedure is based on the area being treated and the procedure being performed. As a general range, the procedures can run between $1,000 – $7,500. Following the consultation with the doctor and a treatment plan has been established, patients will receive more information regarding an exact price.
If you have been recommended to have an invasive surgery and are interested in exploring other options, call our office at 703-738-4381 to schedule an appointment with one the StemCell ARTS physicians.