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!
Patients frequently ask how the physicians at StemCell ARTS stand out from other physicians performing regenerative procedures. A recent chapter written by Dr. Mayo Friedlis and Regenexx founder, Dr. Chris Centeno, provides evidence to help answer that question. Dr. Friedlis and Dr. Centeno co-wrote a chapter for the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America journal focusing on regenerative medicine. Specifically, this chapter focuses on how to perform a better bone marrow aspiration.
Bone marrow aspirations are a crucial step in the stem cell procedure process offered at StemCell ARTS. The stem cell series of injection is a three step process completed during span of 7-10 days. There is one injection every 2-5 days. The second visit of the series is the stem cell procedure. The patient comes to the office in the morning for the stem cell aspiration. This procedure typically takes about an hour. It takes approximately two hours to process the sample and the patient returns to the office that same day for the reinjection of the stem cells into the injured area. The reinjection can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. Performing a successful and efficient bone marrow aspiration is essential to promoting the best possible sample for reinjection. Factors that StemCell ARTS physicians utilize to perform a better bone marrow aspiration includes the use of guidance, both fluoroscopic and ultrasound, newer techniques to help yield higher stem cell counts, patient preparation, proper equipment, and numerous other considerations.
When contemplating stem cell treatment for an injury or disorder of the spine or joints, it is important to ensure that the physician is applying proper techniques. The alternative could include a subpar bone marrow aspiration that would result in a less than optimal reinjection sample. If a patient is going to incur the cost and the commitment to undergo a stem cell procedure, the physicians at StemCell ARTS make sure they have the technology and skills to create the best experience for the patient and offer the best chance for success following the procedure. If you are thinking about stem cell treatment for your musculoskeletal injuries, consider StemCell ARTS and a physician who literally “wrote the book” on the topic.
Regenerative procedures are becoming more popular with the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. Degenerative conditions, such as arthritis, are common conditions that motivate patients to research the physicians at StemCell ARTS. One of the most frequently asked questions the office gets when patients inquire about regenerative treatments for their ailment is, “Am I still a candidate for regenerative procedures if I am bone-on-bone?”. The short answer is that candidates who have been told that they are “bone-on-bone” can still respond well to the regenerative treatments performed at StemCell ARTS. Often, patients are given the diagnosis on “bone-on-bone” following a x-ray of the area. While x-rays are helpful for showing the narrowing of the space between two joints, it does not show any soft tissues. The regenerative procedures are designed to help repair any lost or damaged soft tissue. As a result, MRIs will often be ordered for patients who have not had a MRI completed within the past few years. The MRI images provide more detailed information regarding the condition of the soft tissue, as opposed to only showing the condition of the bones on x-ray. The MRIs will sometime show that there is, in fact, cartilage present even though the joint space is considerably narrowed.
During the initial visit, the physicians at StemCell ARTS will perform a comprehensive exam of the area in question. If additional images, such as MRIs, are requested, the physician will provide the patient with an order to have this imaging completed at the location of their choice. Based on the exam and the imaging, the physician is able to make an informed decision regarding whether or not a patient will respond well to regenerative treatments. If the physician determines that the injury is outside the scope of what can be completed with regenerative therapies, he will make recommendations for the patient regarding their next steps.
In the video below, Dr. Friedlis goes into further detail regarding regenerative treatments for patients who are “bone-on-bone”.
Experiencing a “pop” or “clicking” in the hip joint is often something that cannot be ignored. Pain radiating from the hip down the front of the thigh or groin area could be a result of a tear within the hip labrum. The labrum is a small layer of cartilage between the ball and socket of the hip joint that provides cushion and assists in the motion of the hip. An injury common among athletes, extreme compression or quick twisting / wrenching of the hip can cause areas of this cartilage to tear, resulting in severe and intense pain. In the past, invasive surgery was the only option for helping resolve this condition. However, since the hip is a poorly vasculized area, and often does not heal well on its own, surgery can result in less than desirable results.
Recent studies have found that regenerative treatments can be used to heal a labral tear without the risks and recovery time typically associated with surgeries to treat the same condition. New biological treatments, such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cells, activate the body’s natural healing mechanisms to help repair the injured and damaged tissues. PRP is a blood derivative procedure that releases growth factors to the injured area, stimulating tissue repair. Stem Cell therapy contains a sample of concentrated stem cells that have been harvested from the hip and isolated in the on-site laboratory. When injected into the hip, these regenerative therapies adhere to damaged tissues and attract growth factors to begin the repair process. StemCell ARTS, an affiliate of National Spine and Pain Centers, offers a variety of conventional and regenerative therapies to treat labral tears and assist in the restoration of patients’ mobility, while avoiding 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.
…that insurances will cover the initial consultation visit to discuss regnerative therapies?
The phrase “not covered by insurance” can be a scary thought when considering alternatives to surgery. Still considered “new” to the world of medicine, regenerative treatments are a non-covered service through insurance, leaving the cost to be the patient’s responsibility.
Although this may be a disheartening thought, the initial consultation can still qualify under a patient’s insurance. Scheduling a consultation with a StemCell ARTS physician allows for the chance to receive a full examination and diagnosis, while only being responsible for the copay, current deductible and/or co-insurance. Patients are able to leave the office with a full treatment plan and a breakdown of any potential cost and time commitments.
StemCell ARTS participates with most all insurances, and requires a referral based on specific insurances qualifications.
Los Angeles Angels’ starting pitcher, Garrett Richards, faced surgical intervention following a high-grade tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. A common injury among pitchers, due to the wear and tear placed on the elbow, surgery to repair an ulnar collateral ligament can results in long periods of recovery. Athletes choosing to proceed with stem cell therapy can avoid lengthy periods of downtime and rehabilitation, typically associated with surgery. Stem cell therapy gets athletes back in the game, quickly!