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.
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.
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!
For those interested in getting involved in an exercise routine, it is hard not to come across the world of CrossFit. Over the past couple years, there has been a significant increase in this fitness regime that combines resistance and aerobic exercise. Unfortunately, CrossFit often gets a bad rap due to its perceived propensity to cause injury. Shoulder injuries are particularly common due to the athletes performing snatches and other complex overhead movements. Typically, when one sustains shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tears, the first visit is to a surgeon. Research has shown that surgery may not be the answer. Fortunately, StemCell ARTS offers patients suffering from shoulder injuries an alternative to treating their shoulder conditions, while avoiding invasive surgical procedures.
Why is this so important to CrossFit athletes? Or anyone, for that matter?
Avoiding surgery also allows the patient to avoid the downtime and recovery that is typically associated with shoulder surgery. Patients are able to get back to the activities that they love, sooner than the patients who undergo surgical procedures. For CrossFit athletes, this means getting back in the gym faster and the ability to keep improving on their fitness. For patients outside of CrossFit, they are able to continue their day to day activity, without much interruption following a regenerative procedure.
Below, you will find a link to an article that features a CrossFit athlete treated by one of the physicians at StemCell ARTS. Bill, a high-level CrossFit athlete was able to avoid surgery to repair his rotator cuff by electing to proceed with the stem cell procedure offered at StemCell ARTS. Click the link below to read more about how Bill is doing following his stem cell procedure and learn more about why shoulder surgery may not be the way to go.