Stem Cell Injections
A stem cell is a cell that has the potential to replicate and differentiate into different types of tissue. For instance, a stem cell stimulated in the presence of tendon injury would be expected to form tendon whereas a stem cell stimulated in the presence of cartilage injury would be expected to repair the cartilage. Many people fear stem cell research because they associate it with embryonic stem cells that have the capacity to produce living clones. The stem cell therapies currently employed for musculoskeletal disorders only use adult autologous stem cells (not embryonic stem cells). The goal is not to reproduce a replica of the person but rather new healing tissue to speed and complete the healing process.
The best source of adult autologous stem cells was once thought to be bone marrow, however, new research has identified adipose tissue (fat) as having the highest concentration of adult stem cells. Fat has been estimated to have 500 times the amount of stem cells compared to bone marrow. New therapies are available for transfer of adipose (fat) derived stem cells to aid in healing of broken bones, loss of tissue, cartilage injuries and many other musculoskeletal problems. The use of stem cells is not FDA approved and is considered investigational.
Contact Orthopaedic Specialists
If you would like to learn more about our minimally invasive treatment options, please schedule a consultation at our practice, and one of our fellowship-trained specialists will help you find the best solution for your hand, wrist, elbow, and shoulder symptoms by calling (563) 344-9292.