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!
When beginning the process of researching regenerative treatment options, patients can be presented with an overwhelming amount of information. This information can often result in more questions. Am I a candidate for regenerative therapies? How can these therapies help treat my condition? What can I do to help make my treatments more successful? Luckily, StemCell ARTS is able to help provide patients with a one-stop-shop to help patients get these questions answered. Dr. Chris Centeno, founder of Regenexx, created a guide that explains how Regenexx is pioneering the new field of Interventional Orthopedics, where the use of regenerative biologic treatments, such as adult stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma, are being used to help repair and strengthen damaged tissues. Utilizing a vast amount of internal data and research, the Orthopedics 2.0 book helps patients better understand their own conditions and how regenerative therapies can play a rital role in their recovery.
You might be asking yourself, “how do I get my hands on this great book?” StemCell ARTS is here to help. Next time you’re in the office, ask the staff for your own copy to take home with you. Looking for more information before scheduling your consultation? We have provided a link below to download your own free digital copy. Happy Reading!
There are so many positive aspects to stem cell therapy. One of the most exciting developments in stem cell treatment is its use for treating arthritis in the knee. For decades, the standard treatment for debilitating knee pain has been knee replacement surgery, which utilizes a metal and plastic prostheses to replace lost cartilage and damaged bone. Regenerative medicine therapies, such as stem cell and platelet treatments (PRP) applied at StemCell ARTS, encourage the growth of new tissue utilizing the body’s natural healing systems. These techniques make regenerative medicine therapies a noninvasive option that can achieve pain relief results as good as, or better than, standard knee replacement surgery.
Prior to selecting the use of stem cell therapy, one question that many candidates ask is: Will my age affect whether or not I can or should have this procedure? The answer is simple. No. When conducting stem cell therapy treatments on patients, age does not matter. That’s right. Patients who are good candidates for regenerative medicine such as stem cell and platelet therapies are suitable candidates regardless of their age.
Over the past 4 years, Regenexx has gathered data on over 1000 cases of knee stem cell treatments on patients to help them understand how well these regenerative procedures impact knee osteoarthritis. The data has shown, in terms of the success and benefits of regenerative treatments, there is “no association between age and doing better or worse” (1). So age does not matter! At StemCell ARTS, we utilize the Regenexx protocols for stem cell treatments with all our patients to ensure these positive results.
The data from the registry looked at two different age groups, those under age 45 and those 45 or older, at intervals of 1, 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months. Across all intervals, the success rates were consistent regardless of the age of the patients. It is important to note that the treatment registry is not the equivalent of a controlled clinical study. Nevertheless, the data shows that patients are reporting good results from the Regenexx procedure.
Why Doesn’t Age Matter?
Because stem cell therapy uses the patient’s own stem cells as a catalyst for healing, these stem cells act as a ‘booster’ for the body’s natural healing process, encouraging the body to do what it has been designed to do naturally. This extra boost is a huge benefit to older patients, since in most cases the speed and strength of the body’s natural healing ability has slowed with age.
Age is typically not a factor in our regenerative procedures because the Regenexx treatment protocols call for changes that take into consideration the patients age. This means that each patient receives a customized approach specific for their age. Other factors such as the type of injury, the severity of the injury, the activity demands of the patient also call for changes in the standard protocols. All of this makes the Regenexx protocols the very best treatments available to help your body heal. No matter what your age!
If you are suffering from knee arthritis or any of the other orthopedic injuries treatable with stem cell therapy, you are encouraged to speak with one of our doctors. A regenerative procedure could give you the pain relief you are looking for.
An orthopedic surgeon recently compared patients suffering from hip arthritis, where he performed traditional hip replacement surgery on one group and used the latest stem cell treatment on another group. He found that the patients receiving stem cell treatments experienced more range of motion a year after receiving treatment than patients receiving hip replacement surgery. He also found that 73% of the patients that received the stem cell treatment were able to return to sporting activities. In terms of overall functional scores, patients receiving stem treatments were very similar to the surgery group, with the surgery group receiving a slightly better score for pain management. However, when you compare the invasiveness of surgery to stem cell therapy, the advantages of stem cell treatments are striking.
Traditional surgery: What are the risks?
Traditional hip surgery can range from removing the ball of the femur and replacing it with a metal ball to a total hip replacement. With a complete hip replacement, the entire head of the femur is removed and a metal prosthesis is hammered into place on the hip bone as well as the socket on the pelvis. Risks with these types of surgical procedures include:
Risk of infection
Increased risk of stroke and heart attack
Allergic reaction to the metal used in the implant
Wear particles from the implant causing high levels of metal ions in the blood stream
Risk of blood clots in the legs (DVT) and/or lungs (PE)
Painful post-surgical recovery
Recurrent hip dislocations if the replacement is not placed properly
Failure of the hip prosthesis
After a hip replacement, the materials involved wear down over time, meaning that a hip revision surgery might be required at some point to replace failing implants. This surgery can be longer and even more involved that the original procedure.
Biologic regenerative treatments, such as Stem Cell Therapy, are much less invasive procedures with a quicker return to normal daily activity when compared to surgery. To maximize healing, Stem Cell treatments are used with other leading treatments in the field including Prolotherapy, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Platelet Lysate therapy. In certain cases, a patient’s unique medical condition or circumstance may preclude utilizing the benefits of all treatments used together. In this case, a customized plan is developed using one or more of the treatments to obtain the best patient outcomes possible. While sometimes there is no good alternative to surgical repair, most often biologic repair offers a better option.
Stem Cell Therapy: The Process
Stem Cell therapy makes use of the supply of stem cells available in the body to help repair injured and degenerated tissues. The easiest place to harvest these stem cells is from the back of the hip area, under ultrasound or x-ray guidance. This harvesting procedure is well tolerated by patients and not considered difficult as many patients claim it is not painful.
After bone marrow blood is drawn, it is centrifuged to concentrate and purify the stem cells, with each stem cell specimen custom designed to meet the needs of the specific injury. Utilizing either fluoroscopy or ultrasound, the stem cells are placed on the injured site precisely to improve the likelihood that stem cells will adhere to the damaged area and promote healing. After the stem cells are placed, concentrated platelets and other adjuvants are injected to stimulate the stem cells to multiply, and then transform into the repair cells needed to regenerate new tissue. The platelets are injected again 2-5 days later to keep the stem cells activated and promote additional healing.
Injected 2-5 days before the stem cells, Prolotherapy contains a solution of concentrated dextrose and local anesthetic (steroids are not used). This solution stimulates the body’s natural ability to repair damaged tissue, encouraging new growth and creating a positive environment into which the stem cells are placed.
Platelet Rich Plasma
Platelets initiate tissue repair by releasing growth factors. These growth factors start the healing process by attracting cells that repair us including critical stem cells. Platelet Rich Plasma therapy intensifies this process by delivering a higher concentration of platelets. The therapy involves a small sample of the patient’s blood placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the other blood components. The concentrated PRP is then injected into and around the point of injury, significantly strengthening the body’s natural healing. Our process for PRP is much different and sets us apart. Because our samples are all hand processed, we are able to produce PRP that is free of contaminating red and white cells, which can inhibit repair. This same special process also allows us to customize the concentration and volume for each individual and each injury type. This greatly improves outcomes.
Platelets in the blood release powerful tissue growth factors that aid in the healing process. Normally this occurs slowly over time, but through the creation of a Platelet Lysate solution, a high concentration of growth factors can be released immediately into the body. The result is a targeted, faster healing process. Additionally, there are areas of the body where using traditional PRP may cause too much inflammation. Platelet Lysates are a better option where inflammation may become an issue.
While additional study is needed, the results of biologic regenerative treatments are too promising to ignore. This can be a real solution to alleviate the pain and loss of function from hip arthritis without the drastic approach of surgically cutting open a patient to replace the entire hip.
Mitchell, B. Sheinkop, MD, The Orthobiologic Institute, “BMAC Intervention Versus Joint Arthroplasty for Arthritis,” results presented to LA Orthobiologic Conference on June 7th, 2013; http://www.regenexx.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/11-MITCHELL-B-SHEINKOP1.pdf
 It should be noted in the Sheinkop study that this was a comparison of patients treated in 2007 with surgery and patients treated in 2011-13 with stem cells. It was not a randomized controlled trial, as that type of study has not yet been conducted for stem cell treatments. It should also be noted that Dr. Sheinkop is a member of the Chicago Regenexx Network, Regenexx is the same treatment offered by Stem Cell Arts.