One in two Americans – approximately 126.6 million people suffer from a musculoskeletal condition. While a statistic like that is staggering, it doesn’t mean we are doomed to a painful future. According to an article published by the National Institutes of Health, the use of stem cells has the potential to revolutionize orthopedic practice. The promising results from these non-invasive treatments are challenging many physicians to forego surgery and opt for restorative methods of healing.
The human body is an astounding entity; it grows and heals, and much of the healing capabilities are credited to stem cells. Unlike regular cells, the versatile stem cell variety shows exceptional abilities, and (so long as a being is alive) will morph into a myriad of specialized cells – muscle, blood, brain, and so on. Part of the body’s internal repair system, stem cells act like internal builders, tending to wounded tissue as if they are trying to complete the blueprint of the body.
Musculoskeletal ailments can occur from a sports-related injury, or worsen over time in the case of degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis. Dr. Jeffrey Carroll and the experienced team at Movement Orthopedics are employing the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) to help sufferers heal faster. These adult cells are found in areas such as bone marrow and adipose fat. When extracted, concentrated, and injected into damaged tissue, they promote the production of thriving, new blood cells; this can stimulate the patient’s recuperation process.
Injecting a foreign object into your body can sometimes have consequences, as your body’s natural reflex is to reject intrusive materials. According to the Centers for Disease Control, this typically happens when stem cells are harvested from another person (allogeneic transplants). In this event, Graft-Versus-Host Disease can occur if the transferred cells attack your body. Carroll and his team circumnavigate these problems by performing autologous transplants – which harvest cells from the patient’s own marrow and are typically much safer.
Athletes face a host of problems, from ligament tears to fractures – many of which are successfully repaired through stem cell therapy. The highly-invasive procedures and implants of yesteryear required long recuperation periods, and often left patients with a limited range of movement; athletes and weekend warriors alike were often “benched” for many months following an orthopedic surgical procedure. Stem cell regenerative treatments can help restore damaged cartilage and tendons in a swift manner while reducing chronic pain and improving the functionality of musculoskeletal systems.
While immensely effective, stem cell procedures are somewhat new & experimental in the world of orthopedics. For this reason, it’s highly critical to select a doctor with as much experience as possible. Make sure to do your due diligence, as stem cells need to be administered in accurate doses, and require precision and guidance to effectively make their way to damaged areas. When possible, confirm that your physician utilizes advanced medical imaging (such as ultrasound) to deliver stem cells to the injury site.
If you’ve tried conservative treatments such as R&R, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications, but are still experiencing pain, you may be a candidate for stem cell therapy. Call the specialists of Movement Orthopedics at (586) 436-3785 for more information about these cutting-edge treatments. Get back to doing what you love, and feeling good while at it. With stem cells, the future is now.
1United States Bone and Joint Initiative (USBJI)
2National Institutes of Health