Autologous Cell Therapy (cells obtained from your own body) is a new minimally invasive injection treatment used often that enhances tissue repair and provides an alternative option for spine, orthopedic conditions and sport injuries that have traditionally required invasive surgery.
Of all the modalities of orthobiologic medicine that are used in the USA, this is the most advanced and the most sophisticated of all. It is also the most involved and the most expensive. Still, if you compare it with a joint replacement surgical procedure, its cost, risks, suffering and also down time involved, it is minimal when compared to the surgery.
This procedure is done strictly under local anesthesia, at our office and you walk in and out in about one hour and a half. Unfortunately like with everything else in life, it does not work for every one but in a good number of the candidates you obtain good results even over 50% improvement and at times more, but you also need to pick the patients correctly to obtain the best results.
In comparison, a joint replacement surgery is a traumatic major surgical procedure that requires the risk of a major anesthetic with all its possible complications and also requires a long rehabilitation period. Additionally and what is even worse, is the fact that after surgery you may still suffer from pain. Not all knee pain goes away after surgery in a good number of patients. Just ask around to friends that have had a joint replacement and get them to tell you about their experience.
The actual cells are obtained from your own Bone Marrow by doing a bone marrow aspiration either from the iliac crest or the tibial tuberosity using a Jamshidi needle. You take the bone marrow aspirate and you centrifuge it to concentrate and separate the cells.
Additionally we also draw about 30 CC of blood from a peripheral vein, usually an arm vein. We centrifuge this blood and prepare a concentrated plasma rich in platelets, which has a high concentration of growth factors. These, when injected into the joint together with the cells, stimulate the growth of the cells.
We combine bone marrow concentrate (BMC) with the plasma rich in platelets and injected both into the joint or area we are treating in the patient.
Nothing is added and the cells are not modified in any way shape or form since that is not allowed in the USA at this time. We alway strive to stay within the strict guidelines of the FDA and we do not make any false claims. We exclusively use the Autologus Cells obtained from your own bone marrow to treat musculoskeletal conditions. We do not use any of the many other products advertised out there such as amniotic fluid or cord blood products. They contain no live Stem Cells and have been know to transmit disease.
When treating for example the hip joint, the knee joint, the shoulder, the ankle, your spine etc., we always use fluoroscopy or ultrasound guidance for the injection to make sure we are depositing the material injected where they need to go. Doing it blindly is never the way to go because you basically are guessing and can’t be 100% certain of where you are putting it.
A month after your initial procedure you will have a booster injection the plasma rich in platelets with its growth factors to further stimulate the growth of the cells we deposited there.