Stem Cell Treatment
- Source of Stem Cells: Autologous (from you)
- Treatment Areas: Lumbar facet and SI joints, large joints, small joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments
- Stage of Arthritis: Moderate to Severe
At NeoGenix, we have been using autologous bone marrow aspirate injections successfully for years. Bone marrow is a huge repository of specialized adult stem cells, including types of stem cells that can lead to regeneration and healing of cartilage, tendon, ligament, or bone and muscle tissue.
In addition, bone marrow is rich in blood platelets and cytokines. Platelets store those extremely important growth factors that help activate stem cells and allow them to work more effectively. Cytokines help block active pain receptors. An injection of bone marrow provides adult stem cells and “super charged” PRP both at the same time.
About Bone Marrow Stem Cell Treatment
How is Bone Marrow used in joint regeneration, cartilage, muscle, tendon and ligament repair?
Bone marrow is a semi-solid tissue found within the spongy or cancellous interior portions of bones. In mammals, bone marrow is the primary site of new blood cell production or haematopoiesis. It is composed of hematopoietic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, marrow adipose (fat) tissue, and other important types of stem cells. In addition, bone marrow is rich in platelets, and platelets are the blood cells that store vast quantities of extremely important growth factors that aid in tissue healing. In adult humans, bone marrow is primarily located in the ribs, vertebrae, sternum, and bones of the pelvis. Bone marrow transplants have been performed for decades to treat severe diseases of the bone marrow, including certain forms of cancer such as leukemia. Over the past decade, scientists and clinicians worldwide have used bone marrow aspirates to help heal tissue damage caused by injuries and degenerative processes in joints, tendons, muscles, and ligaments.
Who is a candidate for treatment utilizing Bone Marrow aspirate?
Bone marrow has the consistency of blood, so you can inject it through a small needle into any joint, muscle, tendon, or ligament that is damaged. We have used bone marrow aspirate to treat large joints such as knees, hips, and shoulders, but it is invaluable for treating low back pain as well! Lumbar facet joints and sacro-iliac joints are very common causes of low back pain and are quite easily treated with bone marrow injections. Our results have been nothing short of amazing, and low back pain is now the second most common ailment we treat. We have also used bone marrow aspirate to treat other small joints in the body including wrist joints, thumbs, fingers, ankles, toes, etc.
Is the procedure painful?
Bone marrow is obtained via a short (less than 5 minute), minimally invasive procedure done right in our office using only local anesthesia. The best location for extracting bone marrow is the posterior pelvic crest. Using special, state of the art harvesting equipment from Marrow Cellution, there is no need to spin down or centrifuge the marrow, so large quantities (60-100 cc or more) are no longer required. The bone marrow aspirate is ready to be injected immediately after harvesting, so there is no wait time for processing, spinning, or cell counting. (Please review our FAQ on cell counting and why it is not necessary.) Less than 5% of patients say obtaining the bone marrow was an extremely painful process. Most patients state they felt a tolerable constant “pressure” when the bone marrow was being extracted. Once the procedure is done, you will have a tiny incision covered with a small bandage. You must keep the incision clean and dry for a couple of days to prevent infection.
How long before I can expect results?
This depends on the severity of the underlying joint, muscle, tendon or ligament problem and patient’s adherence to physician-recommended post-procedure protocols, like physical therapy. The stem cells themselves take a few weeks to start working. Usually by week 3-4 most patients are beginning to see a noticeable decrease in their pain levels. The good news is the improvement continues during most of the first 6-8 months after the injection, so every month you get better! Of course, we always recommend physical therapy along with stem cell injections. Studies have proven that stem cell therapies work even better and faster to get patients out of pain when combined with good physical therapy.
Is it true the number of stem cells in our Bone Marrow and Adipose (Fat) Tissue decreases with age?
While it is true the number of stem cells in our bone marrow decreases with age, elderly patients still have plenty of stem cells and growth factors available to do the job we require them to do. It is NOT true elderly patients must only be given stem cells and growth factors from birth-related products. However, that is exactly what patients are told from clinics ONLY providing birth-related products. Most of these clinics in our area are run by a physician assistant or a nurse practitioner that see all the patients and perform all the injections. Most of them do not have the training or skills to perform bone marrow harvesting procedures. According to the recent study below, “it is feasible to obtain large numbers of high-quality autologous (your own) MSCs (Mesenchymal Stem Cells) from the elderly population.”