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!
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!
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!
Thursday, January 26, StemCell ARTS tested Facebook’s feature, “Facebook Live”, and Dr. Friedlis went live for the first time! If you were unable to catch the live video, hear what Dr. Friedlis had to say by clicking the link, below. In the video, Dr. Friedlis discusses spinal conditions and how the regenerative procedures offered at StemCell ARTS can help. The video was posted to our exclusive ‘Patient Discussion Forum’. This is a Facebook page that allows past, present and future patients to discuss their experiences with StemCell ARTS and regenerative therapies. This is an environment that encourages interactions between patients to discuss recovery, compare stories, etc. This also allows patients who have had a consult with one of the StemCell ARTS physicians to ask questions of patients who have been through the process. If you are interested in becoming a member of this group, you can submit your request via Facebook.
The “Facebook Live” feature allows patients to view our regenerative physicians and ask questions, in real time. Some of these questions may even get answered during the video. If a question does not get answered during the video, StemCell ARTS will attempt to provide answers to the questions and comments, following the completion of the video. This is a helpful tool if you have been thinking about the idea of regenerative therapies, but are not yet ready to commit to a phone call or evaluation.
StemCell ARTS will work to offer more “Facebook Live” videos to cover a variety of topics and questions. If you have an idea that you would like to see StemCell ARTS cover, head over to the StemCell ARTS Facebook page and leave suggestions. If you have any questions, keep an eye out for our next Live session to get your questions posted and answered.
Stay tuned for more Live videos from some of our other physicians!
Regenerative Approach to Low Back Pain
Low back pain is one of the most common issues seen see at StemCell ARTS. The physicians perform a comprehensive exam to determine the cause of the back pain. Once the cause has been identified, the next step is to formulate a treatment plan to address the diagnosed condition. Fortunately, Regenexx procedures are revolutionizing the way the regenerative physicians at StemCell ARTS approach those problems. StemCell ARTS, with offices in Tysons Corner, Virginia and Chevy Chase, Maryland, have several regenerative procedures that can be utilized to combat low back pain.
Regenerative Treatment Options
Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma, and Platelet Lysate are all common injections utilized in the StemCell ARTS offices. Due to the specialized method in which the regenerative samples are processed, the physicians at StemCell ARTS are able to design a customized treatment plan to treat the specific patient and condition. These procedures are utilized to treat a wide range of diagnoses. This includes everything from minor strains and sprains, to varying degrees of Spinal Stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal). The procedures are done in the physician office, under local anesthesia. The procedures are very similar to interventional treatments, such as epidural cortisone injections, but use regenerative materials in lieu of steroids. The video below shows a complex disc treatment performed Dr. Pitts in the Broomfield, Colorado clinic. The procedure shown in the video is very similar to the disc treatments, using platelets instead of stem cells.