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Know Your Options

Know Your Options

People in pain are so anxious to find relief that they often don’t take the time to understand the risks associated with different treatments.

It is important to understand that every treatment may have some risk associated with it. Even minimally invasive procedures. That’s because the term “invasive” indicates there will be some tissue damage. Therefore, minimally invasive procedures may result in minimal tissue damage.

Injections generally result in the least tissue damage, but there are different levels of risk associated with different kinds of injections. The least invasive procedures inject a substance such as platelet rich plasma, stem cells or anything capable of initiating healing. Injections that might relieve pain or improve function—such as steroids shots—are slightly riskier since they can kill cartilage cells and/or other tissue. Injection-based procedures that destroy tissue are the most invasive, such as radiofrequency ablation which relieves pain by deadening nerves with heat.

Some minimally invasive procedures require needles that are actually more like small hollow tubes. Even within this category, the size of the tubes differ. For patients suffering from spinal stenosis, we can extract ligament tissue in the spinal canal through a tube in a procedure called minimally invasive lumbar decompression (MILD). But some spinal stenosis patients may be better treated by using a slightly larger tube to insert an interspinous spacer between their discs. Because these needles (tubes) are larger than a typical hypodermic needle, there may be more tissue damage than you would expect from a typical injection.

Even surgery spans a range from least to most invasive. A laminectomy is a less invasive surgery that usually removes something, such as a piece of vertebral bone. More invasive surgery entails inserting something. This occurs in spinal fusion, where the vertebra are bolted together.

At Stem Cell Arts, our goal is to ensure we pursue the least invasive options first. While it might be tempting to think that bigger is better and will result in the best results, this is not always the case, especially if the procedure fails or results in complications.

Every patient should know that complications can arise in any medical procedure, regardless of the level of severity. At Stem Cell Arts, patient safety is our primary goal, therefore, we will use our expertise to find the right procedure for each patient’s unique circumstance while doing everything possible to support positive outcomes and minimize risk.

If you are in pain, or are unsure about what procedures might work best for you, contact us. We’re happy to answer your questions and help you regain your quality of life.

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Non-Surgical Hope for those with Severe Knee Arthritis

Non-Surgical Hope for those with Severe Knee Arthritis

In medicine, we always say that early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to support successful healing and recovery.

That is usually true for patients suffering from joint arthritis. But here’s some good news for those with severe, advanced knee arthritis: research reveals that even in advanced stages of the disease, the knee can respond well to our Regenexx-SD same day bone marrow based stem cell procedure. In fact, based on 14 years of data collection, we know that patients with severe arthritis who have the procedure do as well as those with mild arthritis.

A recent study by the Regenexx Science Team showed that moderate to severe knee arthritis patients, some of whom were knee replacement candidates, did very well with the procedure. Seventy percent reported more than 50 percent improvement at six months and a year out from the procedure. This supports the data we have collected that shows that the severity of knee arthritis just doesn’t matter when it comes to our Regenexx-SD procedure.

This is remarkable, considering that steroid shots, hyaluronic acid gel injections and microfracture or other cartilage repair surgery are less effective if the arthritis is severe. The same is true for platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy. If administered early while the arthritis is still mild, PRP can bring relief that can last for a year or two. But if used in patients with severe arthritis, the relief generally lasts only weeks to months.

If you know someone who is suffering from debilitating knee arthritis and fears that joint replacement surgery is their only remaining option, please have them contact us. We welcome the opportunity to help them find non-surgical pain relief.

StemCell ARTS Educational Seminars

Quantity and Quality Matter

Quantity and Quality Matter

Don’t be fooled by some of the ads you see today for “stem cell” therapy. Many of these so-called “experts” are peddling poor quality and/or inadequate quantities of stem cells in their injections, which means that their “treatments” offer little or no hope of bringing about the magic cures they promise.

As leaders in the field of regenerative medicine with scores of clinical research and satisfied patients who attest to our success, the physicians of Stem Cell Arts know that in order for the therapy to be effective, stem cells need to be alive. That is why we harvest healthy, living stem cells from your own bone marrow to use in your treatment. We do not use amniotic and cord tissue products. Aside from presenting moral or ethical issues for some patients, these products do not provide the living stem cells needed for healing.

To ensure we get the highest quantity of quality stem cells, we generally take small amounts from many areas of your body. Some orthopedic surgeons only aspirate from the knee because it is easy and convenient. But the knee has fewer stem cells than the pelvis. We take the time to extract cells from several areas to ensure we have created the greatest opportunity for successful treatment.

Once we have finished gathering the stem cells, our on-site lab enables us to concentrate—and count—the number of cells in every sample. This is significantly different from other practices that use bedside centrifuge machines to collect bone marrow. These machines are less sophisticated than our technology which is why they tend to be very inefficient at concentrating bone marrow cells.

We also have guidelines that tell us how many cells should be injected based on the procedure we are performing. We can follow these guidelines with confidence because our technology tells us how many cells are in each dose we administer. Practices that use bedside centrifuge machines have no idea how many cells they’re delivering, which means they do not know if the dose they are giving has enough living cells to be effective.

From beginning to end, the Regenexx® Stem Cell procedure we offer at Stem Cell Arts provides our patients with the best chance for successful healing. We harvest the best living cells your own bone marrow has to offer and then take pains to know how many cells we can and should dose to support your recovery. We do not employ a one-size-fits-all process.

The moral of this story is that quality and quantity do matter. At Stem Cell Arts, we take great pains to try to alleviate your pain.

Contact us today.

StemCell ARTS Educational Seminars

A Step In The Right Direction

A Step In The Right Direction

A district court judge in Florida just issued a permanent injunction against U.S. Stem Cell, a Sunrise, Fla., clinic that has used stem cells from fat tissue (adipose) to treat a variety of illnesses. This clinic manufactures Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) from tissue obtained via liposuction. This tissue is then exposed to an enzyme that breaks down the structural component of fat and releases many different cells including a small portion of stem cells.

Under the terms of the injunction, the clinic is prohibited from making or marketing these extracts unless it meets the FDA’s standards for good manufacturing practice.

This is another victory against the dangerous and ineffective so-called stem cell therapies peddled by rogue clinics. We’ve written about this before and will continue to address the topic because these bad characters are not legitimate stem cell clinics.

Stem Cell Arts is the real deal. Our physicians are trained and licensed to perform Regenexx® Stem Cell therapy, which extracts healthy, living adult stem cells from your own body, concentrates these cells at the highest level possible and reinjects them into the injured area to boost your body’s ability to naturally promote healing. Our protocols for harvesting and processing stem cells are totally compliant with all FDA regulations.

The Florida ruling is a step in the right direction, but sadly, there are still clinics across the country that prey on the sick and the elderly by making false claims about their stem cell “treatments.” Clinics that use birth tissues (amniotic or cord tissues) are the modern-day equivalent of snake oil salesmen. They promise to inject patients with millions of live stem cells to treat chronic and sometimes incurable diseases, when in fact, birth tissue usually contains few—if any—viable stem cells. This is a critical distinction because in order to be effective healing agents, stem cells must be alive.

If you or someone you know has considered stem cell therapy, please do your homework. Stem Cell Arts has the expertise and clinical research and data to demonstrate that our therapies are safe, effective and legitimate. Don’t take any chances. Contact us today.

StemCell ARTS Educational Seminars

Exposing the Truth about Bogus Stem Cell Clinics

Exposing the Truth about Bogus Stem Cell Clinics

In case you missed it, The New Yorker and ProPublica recently published an extensive exposé on the dangerous umbilical cord and amniotic blood products being marketed by “clinics” around the country. According to the article, “Unscientific methods, deceptive marketing, price gouging, and disregard for patients’ well-being were rampant across the amniotic-stem-cell-therapy industry.”

As you know, we’ve written about this before. But given the proliferation of these bogus clinics and their and ineffective—and in some cases, life-threatening products—we will continue to drive home this critical reminder: Stem Cell Arts only uses the patient’s own stem cell products. Period. Full stop.

In doing so, we ensure that our patients do not risk dangerous infections from outside blood products. Stem Cell Arts physicians are trained and licensed to perform Regenexx® Stem Cell therapy, which is the world’s most advanced and uses adult stem cells from your own body—not amniotic or cord tissue cells. These cells can come from the body’s bone marrow as well as from body fat that contains mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that have high levels of restorative properties to help heal damaged tissues, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, spinal disc or bone.

The New Yorker/ProPublica article noted that testing of the blood products from one stem cell supplier revealed that less than half of the cells were alive—and they may not have even been stem cells as marketed or contain any significant amount of restorative properties.

At Stem Cell Arts, we understand that chronic or acute pain can lead to desperate searches for a solution. But we encourage you to take the time to truly understand what stem cell and platelet rich plasma therapy entails. Realize the distinction between the healing qualities of your own stem cells and products supplied by outside clinics. And most importantly, research the credentials and history of those who purport to be “medical experts.”

Our Stem Cell Arts physicians are board-certified in specialties including Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as Sports Medicine. They are recognized within the field of regenerative medicine for their expertise and on-going research, publications and academic achievements.

If you or someone you know is considering non-surgical adult stem cell and blood platelet treatments for injuries and degenerative joint conditions such as osteoarthritis and spinal disc disease, please contact us. As the first stem cell-based musculoskeletal practice in the U.S., our experience and reputation speak for themselves.

StemCell ARTS Educational Seminars

Stem Cell Arts Dr. Friedlis to Speak at National Orthopedic Medicine Conference

Stem Cell Arts Dr. Friedlis to Speak at National Orthopedic Medicine Conference

Stem Cell Arts Dr. Mayo Friedlis has been invited to speak at the American Association of Orthopedic Medicine’s (AAOM) annual conference in Denver from May 1-4, 2019. Dr. Friedlis will lead a discussion on “Prolotherapy, PRP, Stem Cells – When to Use What?” 

Dr. Friedlis was one of the first physicians in the Washington, D.C. area to be trained to perform platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy and is one of the first doctors in the area to use stem cell therapy for musculoskeletal injuries. He has been performing these treatments on patients for 15 years.  As such, he will share this vast experience with the hundreds of physicians, surgeons, researchers and other healthcare professionals who attend the annual AAOM conference to discuss the latest techniques and therapies in musculoskeletal pain medicine. 

Dr. Friedlis performs the Regenexx® Family of Stem Cell and Platelet Procedures at Stem Cell Arts.  Regenexx® Stem Cell therapy extracts the patient’s own stem cells (not amniotic or cord tissue cells) and concentrates these cells at the highest level possible. These cells are then reinjected into the injured area to boost the body’s ability to naturally promote healing. The result is relief from chronic pain and inflammation from conditions such as arthritis, herniated back discs, tendon tears or joint injuries. The entire treatment is conducted in Stem Cell Arts’ sterile, state-of-the-art office procedure suites and in house laboratory, and takes only a few hours. 

Dr. Friedlis is a past president of the AAOM and currently serves on its Educational Committee. An advocate for global stewardship, Dr. Friedlis coordinated medical mission trips to Central Mexico each year that are sponsored by the AAOM. These trips provided much needed pain management services to poor, rural communities. In 2011, he directed a new medical outreach program that brought pain management services to Lima, Peru.

Despite having more than 25 years of experience in the field of pain medicine, Dr. Friedlis continually enhances his knowledge and expertise through continuing education, training and research. That is one of the reasons he has been recognized by his peers as one of WASHINGTONIAN Magazine’s Top Doctors in Pain Management.

Dr. Friedlis earned his medical degree from Wayne State University and was selected Chief Resident during his residency at Sinai Hospital in Detroit. He is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and is a Diplomat of the American Academy of Pain Management and the National Board of Medical Examiners.  He has recently authored a book chapter on bone marrow aspiration to obtain stem cells for clinical use. He is an active member of the American Association of Orthopedic Medicine, American Academy of Pain Management, American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, the International Spinal Injection Society and Virginia Medical Society.

StemCell ARTS Educational Seminars

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