For many years as a practicing Orthopaedic Surgeon patients have asked me do they really need surgery to correct their problem or injury? The answer was often yes, as most musculoskeletal problems don't heal well or at all without surgical intervention. But that has changed. There is a game changer that has now and will revolutionize the way us doctors think and how we approach treating our patients to heal without the need for surgery. That game changer is Stem Cell therapy. - Dr. Paul Hughes
Stem cells are naturally occurring cells in the body but are different from most other types of cells because they are multipotent, which means they can develop (“differentiate”) into a wide variety of specialized cell types including muscle, tendon and cartilage. They are categorized as either embryonic (derived from a fetus) or as adult (found in the human body). Adult stem cells grow in abundance in bone marrow and fat, but can also be found in smaller quantities in most tissue. Bone marrow is most commonly used because it contains a rich supply of a broad range of stem cells.
Stem cells naturally release anti-inflammatory elements that help decrease inflammation and pain that occurs in damaged tissue. The stem cells also signal existing cells to begin producing cartilage. All of these functions work to decrease pain, increase joint function and heal worn out or damaged cartilage. These cells are not critical to the body’s natural healing process. By harnessing their ability and targeting them to specific areas, they provide a promising treatment for a diverse range of injuries and conditions.
The Stem Cell Therapy procedure begins with drawing (aspirating) bone marrow using a process that is less invasive than an open bone graft. Bone marrow can be taken from several areas, but the most common is from the pelvis. Once a sample of the drawn (aspirated) bone marrow is removed, it is then spun in a centrifuge to isolate and concentrate the stem cells, which creates concentrated bone marrow.
Depending on your type of medical condition, stem cells can be injected directly into joints, under the skin or through veins, arteries, or into spinal fluid. All of these are considered minimally invasive methods of introducing the stem cells. In the right environment, these stem cells can change (differentiate) into bone, cartilage, muscle, fat, collagen, and neural tissue. Because it is your own DNA material, there is no rejection. The whole process takes a couple of hours in the office. You should be able to return to work the next day.
The ROM Clinic leverages Harvest Technologies, a long time leader in point-of-care cell therapy products, which is now a part of Terumo BCT. Terumo BCT has been a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cellular technologies for more than 30 years. Their cell processing expertise and comprehensive range of solutions cover the continuum of cell therapy—from point-of-care to cell therapy manufacturing.
Learn more about the Harvest® Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC®) System:
Compare Harvest Stem cell concentration and yield to five other systems
Harvest BMA/BMAC patient FAQ page
Harvest BMAC Videos
If you have been suffering from any kind of joint, tendon, or ligament pain or simply want to improve your quality of life while avoiding complications related to invasive surgical procedures, you may be a candidate for Stem Cell therapy.
Stem Cell therapy can help prevent the onset of arthritis and help patients avoid joint replacement. The ROM Clinic will always perform individual analysis of each patient to determine if Stem Cell Therapy is the right treatment option for you.
Results of stem cell therapy include accelerated healing, and for many patients, pain relief that can last for years and, in some soft tissue injuries, permanently. In addition, stem cell therapy has the potential to reduce the amount of physical therapy and rehabilitation you may need after an injury or surgery if required.
Most patients experience little or no discomfort and return to normal activities within a few days. Patients who have had stem cell therapy are advised to minimize excessive activity (specifically, prolonged weight-bearing and exercise) for two months after the procedure to allow healing to occur. In the case of arthritis, depending on the extent and location, doctors may recommend that the patient wears a brace for several months after the procedure.
The main risks of stem cell therapy are the same of any minimally invasive procedure, including risk of bleeding, infection and some pain during and after the procedure. Working with a qualified physician can minimize these risks.