An Overview of Regenerative Medicine with Stem Cell Therapy in Los Angeles & Beverly Hills
As modern medicine comes to the forefront, increasing emphasis is being placed on regeneration of the body versus just suppressing pain (the proverbial Band Aid). Stem cell procedures, which are termed regenerative medicine therapy, are now available and offer incredible potential.
These treatments are offered by stem cell doctors in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, providing pain relief and tissue regeneration simultaneously!
When the bone marrow produces stem cells, they are essentially a precursor to skin, muscle, bone, cartilage or other types of specialized cells. By introducing those “blank slate” stem cells into an area of the body that is damaged, the hope has been to perfect treatment methods that will repair and restore the damage back to functionality.
This may include cartilage that has been damaged with arthritis, soft tissues that have been damaged such as in the rotator cuff, elbow, achilles, or ligament injuries of the knee, ankle, hip and more.
Here is a partial list of conditions that benefit from stem cell procedures:
- Tendonitis – Shoulder, Elbow, Hip, Achilles
- Golfer’s or Tennis Elbow
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Rotator Cuff Tendonitis/Tears
- Achilles Tendonitis/Tears
- Hip and Knee Tendonitis
- Ligament Sprains
- Bursitis (e.g. hip)
- Joint Arthritis Flareups
- Fractures (e.g. stress fractures)
- Ankle Sprains
- Cartilage Defects
- SI Joint Inflammation or Arthritis
- Facet Syndrome and Back Pain
The Body’s Repair Ability and Options Available
One of the main problems when an area such as the spinal disc is damaged, is that the ability of the human body to repair those areas is terrible. The blood flow to the spinal disc is poor, therefore, it simply does not have the ability to regenerate damaged disc tissue very well at all.
When it comes to meniscal injury in the knee, ligament injury of the knee, or rotator cuff/achilles tendonitis, the healing ability is limited as well. The pain from these conditions may persist for years with healing either not occurring or taking a very long time to occur.
Stem cells however, can provide that reparative ability by introducing cells that can differentiate into those necessary to restore the area. Stem cell procedures can heal areas that would otherwise need surgery, provide pain relief and get athletes back on the field quickly!
So far, there are several different methods of obtaining stem cells available. These include two options from the patient him or herself including bone marrow harvesting or adipose harvesting (fat.). The third method obtains stem cells from an external source – amniotic fluid from the placenta of consenting donors (no fetal tissue involved.)
PRP Therapy is actually an indirect stem cell treatment. In and of itself, there are no stem cells used, but the concentrated platelets call in the body’s stem cells to assist in the reparative process.
TO NOTE – None of these stem cell acquisition methods involve fetal tissue or embryonic stem cell. Therefore, there are no ethical concerns.
Amniotic Based Stem Cell Rich Material
These stem cells are not from the person’s own body. One source that has a considerable amount of concentrated stem cells is amniotic fluid. The amniotic fluid contains exponentially more stem cells than the human bone marrow of an adult. Also, amniotic fluid also contains an extensive amount of:
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Growth Factors
- Anti-inflammatory factors
- Anti-microbial properties
What has been found is that amniotic fluid is usually disposed of after birth, but can be harvested and processed to produce a biologic injectable. It is not fetal derived so there are no ethical concerns.The material is processed in an FDA regulated lab and evaluated for the typical array of diseases.
The injection substance has anti-inflammatory agents along with hyaluronic acid as well, which can help with pain relief and additional tissue regeneration. Studies are ongoing looking at amnion-based stem cell rich injection material and so far the results have been very promising in small studies.
Interestingly, using amniotic fluid based stem cell rich injections have been shown not to produce a graft versus host problem. The material is “immunologically privileged” and does not produce a rejection when injected.
Stem Cell Injections Derived from the Patient
The second source of stem cell material is from the body itself. This material can then be injected into the area where damage is looking to be restored. Los Angeles pain management doctors may aspirate a patient’s bone marrow. The fluid is processed immediately, and the resulting concentrate is injected in the same setting into the damaged area.
The next source of stem cells is adipose derived (from fat). In this technique, pain management doctors in Beverly Hills or Los Angeles will harvest fat cells from a patient and process it to achieve a concentration of stem cells.The procedure is performed as an outpatient in one setting. This resulting fluid is injected into the area of damage.
The last major method of stem cell acquisition is through a procedure known as platelet
rich plasma for PRP for short. PRP is the least invasive of the various harvesting techniques. While PRP itself doesn’t have many stem cells, it has a tremendous ability to call in stem cells from the body. This is why it is referred to as a stem cell injection.
Venous blood is obtained and processed through a centrifuge and then injected into the damaged area. Three professional sports leagues have approved of PRP therapy along with the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Which is Most Effective?
While all of these stem cell injection techniques that involves a patient’s own tissue are fairly safe, It is unclear which method is most effective. So far, published studies continue to show the effectiveness of each method!
If you live in the Greater Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills area and would like to discuss your options for regenerative medicine stem cell injection options for pain relief, let the California Pain Network help you.
The Network has teamed up with R3 Stem Cell to offer several types of stem cell procedures for pain relief, surgery avoidance, and tissue repair.
Drs. Raj and Graf are Board Certified orthopedic and pain doctors with extensive experience with regenerative medicine procedures.
Simply call (310) 626-1526 or fill out the contact form on the page today!