Stem cell and platelet treatments are currently in the spotlight due to their high popularity within the professional sports community. And what’s not to love about them?! Regenerative therapies are minimally invasive, and the recovery and down time is minimal when compared to surgical procedures. These athletes depend on their ability to train hard, and an injury or long recovery is detrimental to their careers. Regenerative procedures give them the option of forgoing more invasive orthopedic procedures (if possible). For example, a standard ACL surgery could have a recovery time of up to six months with the need for rehab, six months of bracing and physical therapy in between. After this surgery, there are also higher chances of early onset arthritis in the knee.
With the procedures offered here at Stem Cell ARTS, we are able to provide athletes with platelet and stem cell injections that will help the body heal itself, with little to no down time! A recovery from our stem cell procedure would require a patient to be non-weight bearing for 48 hours after the stem cells are injected into a weight bearing joint. A brace might be required if deemed necessary by the physician and worn for up to 4 months afterwards. Patients are usually able to go back to the gym for low impact exercises just two weeks post stem cell series. We ask that our patients follow up in six weeks, and typically they are back to their normal physical activities by then!
Who’s Getting Our Procedures?
We are seeing patients of all different ages, backgrounds, and activity levels here in our clinics. More and more young, high school-aged athletes are coming to us after their sports injuries. They are hoping to continue their athletic careers into college and hopefully professionally as well. Years ago, a torn meniscus or ACL would automatically require surgery and, at their young age, there is a higher risk of re-injury. The popularity of CrossFit has (unfortunately) helped us expand our patient base. The intensity of exercise craze has created many common problems such as torn labrums and rotator cuff tendinitis. There has also been an influx of elderly active patients that want to keep their active lifestyles. We have seen patients as young as 90 who have gone back to running marathons after just a few treatments!
The Future of Sports Injuries
It would be an ambitious statement to say that one day, regenerative treatments will replace surgical procedures, but our goal is to help as many people avoid surgery as possible. We are aware that surgery means downtime, and we want to spread the word that there are alternatives out there for you if you want to get back outside in this beautiful weather just in time for spring sports!
Read Dr. Christopher Centeno’s post regarding all the amazing athletes they have treated at our headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado!
Spring into the New Season!
It’s the season to the enjoy the outdoors and activities that you love! Spring is the time for revitalization and we’re here to help you get back to participating in the things you enjoy! We often see patients with old injuries, or pain, that they have put off treating until it starts to negatively impact their normal functioning. Wait too long and some patients may hear that they are recommended to have a joint replacement. The regenerative treatments that we provide at StemCell ARTS help patients avoid those invasive surgical procedures. Although still considered “experimental” in the eyes of insurance companies, the efficacy and outcomes of the procedures are products of months, and even years, of research and data collection; so rest assured we know that our products and techniques work!
Regenexx Research Network
At StemCell ARTS, we are part of a research consortium known as, Regenexx. It is a nationwide program of physicians that perform regenerative procedures to the exact specificity of our headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado. Scientists and Statisticians at the clinic track the outcomes of patients across the United States, and have published most of the world’s research on Stem Cell therapy. Part of our clinics revenue are funneled back into the lab in order to fund further studies and development of these treatments. Dr. Christopher Centeno (founder of Regenexx) has written numerous reports and outcome studies from Regenexx. All patients who are receiving regenerative treatments across the country are entered into a large study that tracks outcomes before and after their procedures. They will continue to receive surveys sporadically in order to track their progress. These studies will be essential in the future to assist insurance companies in regards to approving and paying for these procedures.
Watch Dr. Centeno discuss the Stem Cell process and see how these procedures gave patients the ability to perform physically challenging exercises again!
Our Success Stories
Potential patients are often curious about our success rates and the outcomes of previous patients. This is a valid concern, as patients want to know if these treatments are actually working for every day people like them. We have treated a wide variety of patients ranging from tri-athletes, weekend warriors, student athletes, to those in their 90s! With our state-of-the-art lab, we are able to provide customized regenerative therapies, tailored to every lifestyle and age in order to help patients get back to the activities they love. Each success story is different, but hearing patients recall their stories and how they have improved is always a joy!
Prolotherapy and Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment
Nick Caparelli’s story echoes most of those seeking treatment here at StemCell ARTS. He was very active, but injured himself during one of his physical activities and was recommended surgery by an Orthopedist. He considered his surgical options, but was concerned about the recovery and downtime it would include. A friend recommended he explore regenerative therapies for his shoulder. He was evaluated by a physician here at StemCell ARTS, and suggested a treatment plan of Prolotherapy and Platelet Rich Plasma. Prolotherapy is an injection of Dextrose-based solution into the problem area in order to help stimulate your body’s repair cells. Platelet Rich Plasma requires a blood draw, and after your platelets are concentrated and processed in our lab to the specificity of the doctors, it is re-injected to the site of injury in order to help heal minor sprains, strains and tears. Mr. Caparelli’s treatments were scheduled four to six weeks apart, and after just a few treatments, he is back to lifting weights and teaching martial arts!
Read about his story and many others on our StemCell ARTS blog. Contact our office to see if you can be our next success story!
How Nutrition Can Help You Heal
Our physicians often get asked if diet plays an important role in helping them with the outcomes of their treatment. The short answer is: yes. Nutrition has been found to be an essential role in helping patients heal. Patients are advised to maintain a high protein diet with minimal sugar and carbohydrates. Those ingredients have been found to cause ‘bad inflammation’, and inhibit healing after regenerative procedures.
Supplements such as fish oil (see our last post!) and the Regenexx Supplement have been proven to help the promotion of more stem cells and cartilage growth. Patients have the ability to take control of their own healing, and help your platelets and stem cells as much as possible! As with all supplements, please consult with your primary care physician before beginning any vitamin/supplement regimen.
See what Dr. Wagner has to say about nutrition and the way it can help patients heal!
What Patients Can Do to Help the Success of Regenerative Therapies
Often, patients ask what they can do to help achieve the best results possible from their regenerative therapies. Most importantly, patients can follow the pre and post procedure guidelines. This includes avoiding certain medications, remaining non weight baring for the time recommended by the physician, adhering to any bracing or activity restrictions. Nutrition is another important aspect that can aid in the success of regenerative therapies. Typically, this involves a diet high in protein. This can also include additional supplementation.
Stem Cells and Supplements
Patients frequently ask questions about over-the-counter supplements and how these supplements can optimize Stem Cell treatments. Often, patients are already utilizing a supplement regime. Acknowledging that nutrition and supplements can, in fact, impact the outcome of regenerative procedures, the researchers at Regenexx in Colorado decided to get more definitive answers. They have performed laboratory testing to determine how mesenchymal stem cells react to a wide variety of dietary supplements. The extensive experiments took about one year and, in the end, Regenexx was able to identify several supplements that help promote healthy stem cell function before, during and after the treatment.
The supplement is in liquid form and is taken daily. The physicians at StemCell ARTS will, typically, recommend that patients begin the supplement at least two to three weeks prior to the start of their stem cell treatment. In addition, patients may be recommended to continue taking the supplement for one to three months following the stem cell series of injections. Continuing to take the supplements promotes joint health. The Regenexx Advanced Stem Cell Support Formula supplements can be purchased through the StemCell ARTS offices, located in McLean, VA and Chevy Chase, MD.
Watch this video from the Regenexx website to see how the supplement was created!
STEMCELL ARTS AND FACEBOOK LIVE
As regenerative therapies gain more popularity, StemCell ARTS is aware that many people have numerous questions regarding these new treatment options. That is why StemCell ARTS is excited to utilize Facebook Live to help provide more information. The physicians understand that, prior to committing to an office visit, potential patients want more details regarding regenerative treatments and whether or not these treatments may be right for them. Facebook Live will help the physicians at StemCell ARTS to answer these questions, in real time. Please feel free to tune in when the physicians go live to ask your questions and hear the questions answered during the live feed. If a question is not addressed during the live feed, the staff will respond to the remaining questions in a timely manner. If there is someone who you feel may benefit from these videos, please share the live videos and help StemCell ARTS get more information to those interested in these new and exciting regenerative treatment options! Click the link below to see Dr. Benjamin Newton go “LIVE” for the first time.
EVALUATING HAND AND WRIST CONDITIONS
Dr. Benjamin Newton reviews some common conditions of the hand and wrist, in more detail. In addition, Dr. Newton describes how the physicians at StemCell ARTS approach the initial evaluation. The initial evaluation is important to help the physicians establish a primary diagnosis. This diagnosis is essential to determining the recommended treatment plan. Dr. Newton discloses what some of these recommended treatment plans could entail. Some treatment plans may include other modalities, such as physical therapy or bracing, to name a few. When reviewing potential treatment options, Dr. Newton also talks about the regenerative therapies that can be used to treat common injuries of the hand and wrist. He describes how the various treatments help the primary diagnosis and how these treatments are administered.
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 Hand Problems and Treatments
Small joints, such as the ones found in the hands, are often more difficult to treat because of the small spaces that the physicians have to work within. Patients with common hand problems, such as trigger finger, are usually given one solution: surgery. This surgery is fairly simple, but it does come with an extended recovery time (typically several weeks). The most common problem that patients face post-surgery is that the trigger finger can come back if the tendon sheath is not adequately released. Arthritis in the hands is also a common problem that plagues patients. Severe arthritis, sometimes referred to as bone-on-bone, results in a loss of cartilage surrounding joints and cause pain and decrease range of motion in the hands.
Regenerative Treatments Available
StemCell ARTS offers minimally invasive procedures to treat conditions that impact the hands including, but not limited to, trigger finger and arthritis. The regenerative procedures at StemCell ARTS help patient avoid the recovery time and bracing typically associated with surgery. This means that patients are back to their normal daily activities, sooner!
Here at StemCell ARTS, physician perform a number of regenerative treatments to help release the pressure and pain connected with injuries of the hands. Stem cell and platelet treatments have been shown to help slow down the progression of arthritis and help patients get their lives back. StemCell ARTS physicians use ultrasound-guided injection techniques to place the platelets and/or stem cells precisely at the site of injury in these small, delicate joints. Watch the video below, featuring Dr. Pitts from the Colorado office, to see how the doctors at StemCell ARTS and Centeno-Schultz Clinic perform the Regenexx procedures!