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!
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!
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!
Conventional Steroid Injections
Low back pain is one of the most common problems and injuries in the United States. For those who suffer from it, most people are provided relief with a series of standard steroid epidural injections. But what about those who are not candidates for steroids, such as patients with Lyme Disease, Osteoporosis, or even just those who have exhausted interventional injections? At StemCell ARTS, we are able to provide a minimally invasive, platelet therapy to help combat low back pain!
The Science Behind Platelet Lysate (PL)
Platelet Lysate is one of the treatments available to patients at StemCell ARTS for those who suffer from chronic low back pain. This treatment is specialized for those with disc pain (such as herniated discs) and pinched nerves in the spine. It involves a blood draw from your arm and afterwards, we hand-process the sample in our state-of-the-art laboratory. Platelets which contain growth factors are isolated and frozen; we then take these platelets and break them open to extract the growth serum within these cells. These growth factors are injected into the spine, and around discs similar to that of a standard epidural, but with your own super concentrated platelets! The platelets are immediate release (similar to steroid injections), but in most patients, they are provided with longer relief.
See how Dr. Friedlis explains our procedures and the clinical indications for them here
Click on some of our links below to see the outcomes for our Platelet Lysate procedures:
June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month!
We can all agree that our spine is essential since it protects our spinal cord and also allows us to bend and move. However, for those with scoliosis, every day movements can become painful and debilitating. Scoliosis is a disease that affects about 2-3% of the population in the United States, roughly 6 to 9 million people. It usually has an early onset in children around 10-15 years old. The spine has a natural ‘S’ curve when examined from a side view. It is when the ‘S’ shape forms from side-to-side that problems can occur. This can be caused by factors such as: genetics, growth spurts in children, or bone degeneration. Symptoms vary by severity of the condition. For those with mild scoliosis (measured as less than 40 degrees), they might experience deformities such as having one shoulder higher than the other, or a slight hunchback form. People with curvatures greater than 40 degrees can experience more severe symptoms such as weakness, pain, and even heart and breathing issues.
Interventional Treatments for Scoliosis
Most often, when diagnosed and treated early, scoliosis can be reversed. For those who continue to have ongoing symptoms, there are several non-surgical treatment options. Bracing is the most common treatment to stabilize and straighten the spine. Exercises such as guided yoga or those prescribed during physical therapy have proven to be effective as well. Surgical intervention is the last resort because of the risks and complications that could follow such as reaction to metal rods, or paralysis.
Here at StemCell ARTS, while we are unable to reverse the curvature of the spine with our treatments, we are able to help stabilize and strengthen it. Using Prolotherapy and Platelet Rich Plasma, we inject the surrounding ligaments to cause inflammation and tell your body’s repair cells to focus on those areas. If patients are experiencing nerve pain associated with pinched nerves before or after surgery, we can utilize our Platelet Lysate treatment. Platelet Lysate (PLM) is often used during a hydrodissection technique which helps separate entrapped nerves from surrounding tissue and in turn, helps ‘calm’ the nerve down.
Watch Dr. Dade explain the benefits of having regenerative procedures here at StemCell ARTS!
Mrs. Mariano’s story is common, and echoes the frustration that some women feel when their pelvic pain is misdiagnosed. She woke up after a procedure with debilitating back pain. She saw countless numbers of physicians who could not accurately diagnose her even with the proper imaging. Despite going through a series of conservative measures such as, physical therapy and standard interventional steroid injections, she failed to receive any relief. After a few sessions, her physical therapist started to realize that her pelvis was not staying in place. Julie took this information and ran with it. She did extensive research and was able to find StemCell ARTS.
Treatment at StemCell ARTS
She flew from her home state of Florida to our clinic in Virginia to consult with Dr. Mayo Friedlis. He diagnosed her with pelvic instability, and we were able to create a customized treatment plan for her. We started her on Platelet Rich Plasma and Prolotherapy treatments that help tighten ligaments in order to help stabilize her pelvis. After a few treatments, she was already seeing improvement and continues to strive toward getting back to long walks on the beach and horseback rides!
Watch the emotional interview of how physicians at StemCell ARTS helped Julie Mariano reclaim her life!
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!
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.
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!