Stem cell therapy is a form of regenerative medicine that uses the body's natural healing mechanism to treat various conditions. Stem cells are used to renew and repair diseased or damaged tissues, and have shown promising results in treatments of various orthopedic, cardiovascular, neuromuscular and autoimmune conditions. Stem cell therapy functions to deliver the optimum amount of stems cells to the injury site. Stem cell therapy is unique because it replicates the body’s natural healing processes.
There are two major types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Embryonic Stem Cells are stem cells derived from human embryos. They are pluripotent, which means they have the ability to develop into almost any of the various cell types of the body. As we age Adult Stem Cells (or somatic stem cells) occur naturally in pockets of tissue, such as bone marrow, fat, and blood. These cells function to renew old and worn out tissue cells. Like embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells can also replicate into more than one cell type, but their replication is limited to a number of cells.
Adult stem cells are known as "progenitor" cells. This means they remain dormant or do nothing, unless they witness some tissue injury. Tissue injury activates them. When a person has a degenerative condition, stem cells go to that injury area and stimulate the healing process.
The unique self-regeneration and differentiating ability of stem cells make them ideally suited for use in orthopedics. The use of embryonic stem cells is controversial as questions have been raised regarding the ethics of its procurement and usage. At North Texas Stem Cell Treatment Center, we use only adult stem cells for our stem cell therapies.
Adult stem cells can be obtained from the bone marrow and fat (or adipose) tissue. Specifically, the stem cells obtained from bone marrow and fat tissue have the ability to replicate into cells that form tendons, ligaments, and articular cartilage. The harvesting of bone marrow derived stem cells can be very painful and cause discomfort. Bone marrow harvesting of stem cells yields approximately 5,000 – 60,000 cells. In contrast, the harvest of fat derived stem cells is far less painful and yields approximately 500,000 to 1,000,000 stem cells per cubic centimeter of fat. Therefore, it is possible to obtain as many as 10 to 40 million cells from a single treatment.
Fat tissue is a rich source of stem cells that may be harvested and processed into an injectable solution containing stem cells and stromal vascular cells that promotes healing and regeneration of damaged tissue. Fat tissue is usually harvested from the abdominal or flank area with the help of special equipment. The area is numbed and about 50-120 cubic centimeters of fatty tissue is extracted, depending on the amount needed. There is no visible change in appearance at the donor site. Then, the extracted fat tissue is then processed to separate the stem cells from the fat cells. Finally, the stem cells are injected or infused directly into the joints, tendons, ligaments, or targeted treatment areas.
The entire procedure takes about 90 minutes in the office.
You may be a good candidate for stem cell therapy if you have been suffering from joint or muscular pain and want to improve your quality of life while avoiding invasive surgical procedures. Stem cell therapy offers a relatively non-invasive or minimally invasive option. NTSCTC offers a choice to informed patients seeking modern regenerative therapy with convenience, quality and affordability.
Stem cell therapy is generally considered a safe procedure with minimal complications. However, as with any procedure, complications can occur. Although much lower in stem cell therapy, there is a risk of infection in the stem cells or at the treatment site. Rarely, an immune reaction may occur from injected stem cells. At NTSCTC, our skilled physicians and staff have implemented safety protocols and use sterile techniques to minimize risks of infection.
Stem cell therapy is a newer, evolving treatment method. There is a lack of data concerning the efficacy of stem cell therapies. NTSCTC collaborates with Cell Surgical Network to collect data to contribute to the ongoing investigations and research of stem cell therapy.