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Autologous Stem Cell Treatment (ASC)
The use of autologous (donor and recipient are the same) blood products to aid in healing via a variety of treatments has become more common. In recent years, science and technology has provided a new perspective on understanding the wound healing process. Platelets were once thought to act only with clotting, however, we now know platelets also release many bioactive proteins responsible for removal of necrotic tissue as well as enhancing tissue regeneration. According to the World Health Organization(WHO), musculoskeletal injuries are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability. Soft tissue injuries including tendon and ligament trauma accounts for 45% of all musculoskeletal injuries in the USA. PRP provides an alternative to surgery by promoting safe and natural healing.
Platelet Rich Plasma(PRP) involves stimulating release of growth factors in an attempt to jump start the healing in chronic injuries as well as aid in acute injury healing. To prepare PRP, a small amount of blood is taken from the patient. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins and automatically produces the PRP. Normal platelet concentration is 200,000 platelets/mcL and PRP can be expected to have a minimum of 4-6 times this baseline (1 million platelets/mcL). There are also growth factors and other proteins present in the PRP that aid in healing. Our Practice utilizes a comprehensive approach to PRP treatments including not only injecting the injured tendon or arthritic joint but also addressing ligament laxity via PRP prolotherapy.
What is Autologous Stem Cell Treatment (ASC):
The Stem Cell therapy provided at River City Rehabilitation and Spine Specialists, PC. is a point of care treatment that allows for minimal manipulation of cells which are harvested and injected into the treatment area on the same day. This therapy has the potential to help accelerate healing in moderate to severe osteoarthritis, as well as tendon/ligament injuries.
There are two types of stem cells associated with tissue healing: mesenchymal (MSC’s) and hematopoietic (HSC). These cells act as your body’s repairmen with the guidance of cytokines. MSC’s prepare the injured area for other stem cells to do their work. They travel to the site of injury via the bloodstream and are important, but not as important as once thought. HSC’s are the actual drivers of tissue repair/regeneration and their numbers do not decrease with age, as MSC’s do.
Obtaining and preparing these powerful regenerative cells is relatively pain free and simple. Following an evaluation and a diagnostic work-up, we can determine if stem cell therapy is an appropriate treatment option for you. We will obtain a bone marrow aspirate (removal by suctioning) from the back of your pelvis, and/or fat tissue (lipo-aspirate) from your lower abdomen or lateral hip region. A combination of bone marrow and lipo-aspirate cells is used for severe osteoarthritis. Other conditions may need only lipo-aspirate and platelet rich plasma (PRP). Once the cells are ready, they will be injected into the area we are treating the same day.
Once the cells are reintroduced into the injured area along with the PRP, the platelets release growth factors (signal molecules). These growth factors or cytokines, in concert with platelets and stem cells, are responsible for repair of the injured area. This repair process usually takes about 2-3 months, but you may notice reduction in pain and increased function before that time period. Next, we will provide follow-up PRP injections at 4 weeks and 8 weeks after the original treatment injection. These follow-up PRP injections allow the stem cells to continue to repair and regenerate cartilage tissue.
In addition to the injections, you will also be instructed to take supplements to enhance the healing process. These supplements will include specific cytokines to be taken orally, to enhance and sustain the stem cell, and PRP injections, boosting their therapeutic effects. Also, in both acute and chronic injuries, an exercise or rehabilitation program may be used to enhance the success of the treatment.
ABOUT RIVER CITY REHABILITATION & SPINE SPECIALISTS
RCRSS is the only integrated site network comprised of a complete organization of specialists. With a dedicated pain management infrastructure, we are working to improve the quality of life for our patients by returning them to function and offering surgical and non-surgical solutions.
Enhancing the speed, quality and accuracy of pain management.