Patient Undergoes Stem Cell Therapy

Regenerative Injection Techniques

“What is Osteoarthritis and how does it work”

Have you ever been told that you have:

  • Bone on bone?
  • No cartilage in the joint?
  • Arthritis?
  • Osteoarthritis?
  • Meniscal tears?
  • Tendonitis?
  • Fasciitis?

These procedures have helped people with the most severe arthritis delay and cancel joint replacements. We can access stem cells hidden throughout your body – in your bloodstream, fat cells, and bone marrow. We harness these stem cells and infuse them with growth factors from your bloodstream (PRP), then inject them into the problematic joint. Your joint can enter a healing state and begin to regenerate old tissue like cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and bone. The stem cells are immature cells that have the potential to turn into new tissue. Combined with growth factors, these stem cells are invigorated with energy and attempt to restore the joint.

“Stem Cell Therapy”

Have you been struggling with a chronic joint pain that is resistant to all the conventional therapies?

Have you tried and failed:

…naproxen?

…cortisone or steroid joint injections?

…physical therapy?

…chiropractic care?

…rehabilitation?

Then, it is probably time to consider a Regenerative Injection Procedure like Prolotherapy, PRP, or Stem Cell Therapy. These procedures are state-of-the-art. The procedures harness the healing powers of your body and infuse it into the problematic area. The problem with injuries that refuse to heal is chronic non-healing inflammation. In order to facilitate repair, you need more healing and growth potential. Inflammation is supposed to be acute, quick, and regenerating. It turns on quickly and turns off quickly. However, when an injury is prolonged, chronic non-healing inflammation becomes damaging. Using Regenerative Injection Procedures can push these injuries into an acute and healing inflammation that resolves.

Stem cells can be used to treat a variety of conditions. A few of the conditions are listed below:

Osteoarthritis Frozen Shoulder Any Bursitis Ankle Strain
Meniscal Tear Any Tendonitis Back Pain / Disc Carpal Tunnel
Tennis Elbow Golfer’s Elbow Tarsal Tunnel Plantar Fasciitis

Is Stem Cell Therapy or PRP therapy effective?

 

What are the different versions of Regenerative Injections or Stem Cell Therapy?

Prolotherapy (Dextrose and Water / Sugar Water)

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) – Blood Draw

Adipose Stem Cell Therapy (ASC) – Liposuction

Bone Marrow Stem Cell Therapy (BMAC) – Bone Marrow Aspiration

Testimonial from a U.S. Marine

Learn more details about each procedure by clicking the procedure name.

Overview of the Procedures:

Prolotherapy

Prolotherapy is an umbrella term for all stem cell procedures. However, for this section, prolotherapy will mainly be considered the injections using dextrose (sugar) and water. The theory behind why prolotherapy works is similar to all stem cell mechanics. Using a needle and injecting dextrose causes inflammation in the treatment area. While inflammation hurts and is usually considered “bad,” inflammation is designed to heal the body. It may hurt after the procedure, but it should resolve the injury. Chronic inflammation damages while acute inflammation heals.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

The PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) procedure requires 30cc of blood per joint injected. If you were getting blood drawn for labs, 30cc’s is around 6 tubes of blood. After the blood is drawn, it is spun at a high rate of speed (centrifuged). The spinning isolates the growth factors and platelets (healing stimulus) that are naturally floating in your bloodstream.  We extract the good stuff and discard the rest. This new healing solution is then injected into the area of pain.  Our PRP is harvested using the highest quality centrifuge available. Not all PRP is considered equal.

Adipose Stem Cells (Liposuction)

Adipose Stem Cells are found surrounding all of your fat cells. There are millions of stem cells per milliliter of fat! We harvest these stem cells using local liposuction usually in the belly or thighs. The liposuction is minimal and will not be noticeable cosmetically. If you do not have enough body fat, you cannot use adipose stem cells. Your physician may suggest Bone Marrow Collection instead. After liposuction, the fat is spun (centrifugred) and millions of stem cells are isolated and ready for regenerating bone, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.

Bone Marrow Stem Cells (Bone Marrow Aspiration)

The bone marrow stem cells are harvested from your iliac crest or hip bone. Bone marrow aspiration is less painful than liposuction despite it sounding more painful. Many people fear bone marrow aspirations because of busy oncologists that perform the procedure. They do not take the time necessary to make the procedure comfortable. The bone marrow procedure requires local anesthesia, which burns, but you will experience minimal discomfort after the anesthesia has set in. Similar to adipose stem cells, the bone marrow cells are harvested and centrifuged in order to concentrate the stem cells.

Which Stage Is Appropriate For Me?

This is a complicated question to answer. The appropriate answer is that you will need to discuss this with your medical provider. However, there are basic principles that we can cover.

Prolotherapy is the weakest yet most cost effective treatment. Prolotherapy requires the most repeat injections over time. It has a fair success rate.

PRP is the simplest, most effective and affordable treatment of all the regenerative injections. It has an excellent success rate, and it is the most studied of all the regenerative injection techniques. PRP is associated with the least pain and shortest downtime. Because it contains the stimulus for stem cells, PRP is always added to Adipose and Bone Marrow Stem Cells. PRP is well-known to heal most soft tissue problems (plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, sprains, strains, etc). New evidence and clinical experience for osteoarthritis (arthritis) is suggesting excellent results if PRP injections are performed yearly.

Adipose Stem Cells (liposuction) is the best therapy for more advanced or resistant disease. It is more likely to help with osteoarthritis and deep, complicated meniscal tears than PRP alone. Adipose stem cells are preferred over bone marrow stem cells due to clinical experience.

Bone Marrow Stem Cells (bone marrow aspiration) is the alternative therapy used when a patient does not have enough body fat for liposuction. Bone marrow stem cells can be added to adipose stem cells for the most aggressive regenerative injection technique available.

Do Regenerative Injection Techniques hurt?

We are frequently asked if the procedures will hurt. We carefully anesthetize the area slowly and comfortably, utilizing topical anesthesia and sodium bicarbonate to limit the sting of lidocaine. You should feel minimal discomfort after the numbing has set in. If you are anxious, we can prescribe anti-anxiety medicine to take before the procedure.

How Much Down Time Should I Expect?

Stem cell therapy requires minimal down time.  The procedure, depending on the level and complexity, takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours to complete. The entire procedure is performed in our office (bring reading material), and you will be able to walk out of the office. After the procedure, you will experience aching pain around the areas of operation, including liposuction and bone marrow areas.  You will want to avoid all activity the day of the procedure, and you will want to avoid all exercise for 2 weeks after Regenerative Injection Techniques.

Remember that we injected live stem cells. You do not want to crush them!

How Long Will It Take To Notice Symptom Improvement?

Recovery time with regenerative injection techniques is incredibly variable.

Healing is quicker if you are: younger, healthier, and optimal. Shorter duration of injury improves healing time.

Healing is slower if you are: inflamed, overweight, or diabetic. Longer duration of injury delays healing time.

After leaving the office, you will have minimal pain in the joints injected because of the numbing medication.  However, it can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months for improvement in symptoms.

Your timing and level of improvement depends on the severity of disease. During this time of healing, focus on excellent nutrition (vegetables, low carb, high fiber, fish oil, phytonutrient dense foods) and stress reduction (meditation, breathing, low intensity yoga).

When should I get Regenerative Injection Techniques Performed?:

Your healthcare providers will help you determine the appropriate timing to regenerative techniques. It is important to first utilize physical therapy, chiropractic, herbals, anti-inflammatories, and any other necessary treatment modalities before proceeding to regenerative injection techniques.

However, if you have osteoarthritis (also called arthritis), you do not want to wait until the joint is completely destroyed. You want to begin repairing and regenerating the joint earlier. You should get a functional medicine evaluation to improve inflammation and toxic accumulation. Then, you should plan on regenerative injection techniques earlier rather than later. The metaphor frequently used is:

“Would you rather repair a car with a dented bumper that needs an oil change? Or wait until the car is on cinderblocks without an engine?”

It is easier to repair a joint when cartilage is still present. It is difficult to rebuild cartilage when there are no cartilage cells remaining.

What Are The Risks Associate With This Procedure?

Fortunately, regenerative injection techniques are considered low risk procedures. Sterile equipment and a sterile field is always maintained. We utilize your own stem cells, so it is theoretically impossible to have a reaction to your own tissue. The highest risk is that of local infection of the skin. This is easily treated with antibiotics. There are minor bleeding risks with liposuction and bone marrow aspiration. The most severe and life-threatening risk is joint infection. If the joint(s) injected gets infected, this is a medical emergency, and it requires IV antibiotics. In the worst-case scenario, joint infections can require surgery. Unfortunately, in severe cases, permanent joint destruction can occur. This risk occurs with any joint procedures and is not unique to regenerative techniques.

Can I Use My Health Insurance?

The regenerative injection techniques are considered “experimental” by insurance companies, so it is not currently covered. It will not contribute towards your deductible.

Can I use my FSA or HSA?

You can use any Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) or Healthcare Savings Accounts (HSA) to pay for medical procedures at Oubre Medical.

Did you know that the average cost for a total joint replacement is about $30,000.  Plus, you will have weeks of downtime and pain while your body acclimates to the new foreign object. You will require months of pain and physical rehabilitation. With regenerative injection techniques, you get to keep your own natural bones, ligaments, and tendons.

Note: After any hardware is placed in a joint (pins, plates, metal), you cannot have any conservative procedures performed. On the contrary, if regenerative techniques fail, you can always pursue surgical interventions.

How Much Do The Regenerative Techniques Cost?

PRP (1 Joint) $700
PRP (2 Joints) $900
PRP (1 Joint)- 3 Treatments $1800
PRP (2 Joints)- 3 Treatments $2300
PRP + Liposuction (2 joints)  $5000
PRP + Bone Marrow (2 joints)  $5000
PRP + Liposuction + Bone Marrow (2 joints)  $7500

 

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