STEM CELL THERAPY

Stem cell therapy is the newest and most cutting-edge regenerative injection therapy and is exploding in the medical field.  Stem cells naturally reside within your body and help you regenerate following an injury, with the most substantial reservoirs found within the bone marrow and adipose tissues.  However, as we age or suffer from injuries, we sometimes can’t get enough of these critical regenerative cells to the injured area.  In severe conditions, the local stem cell niche can also be depleted, which hinders the body’s ability to heal itself.  In situations such as this, prolotherapy and PRP may not work as well because the level of local stem cells is too low to respond to the treatment.  In cases like this, a single stem cell therapy treatment can make a significant impact in your healing process. 

HOW STEM CELL INJECTIONS WORK

To ensure the most effective and efficient healing, we harvest cells from areas known to be rich in mesenchymal stem cells such as the bone marrow and adipose tissue.  We then concentrate those cells through a rapid spinning process before precisely injecting them into the damaged area in need of repair, such as injured muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, nerves & bone.
Once injected back into your injured areas, the stem cells perform a variety of functions, which includes:
  1. Recruiting more stem cells from your body to migrate to the site of damage
  2. Secreting proteins that support a healthy immune response in the damaged area
  3. Secreting proteins that instruct the damaged cells in that area to regenerate
  4. Triggering the local stem cell precursors to change into fully functional cells
The fascinating thing about stem cells is that they are multipotent, meaning that when you inject them into the body, they can become different cells depending on what kind of cells your body needs – for example, tendon cells, cartilage cells, or ligament cells. 
To concentrate your stem cells, a small volume of bone marrow (30-60cc) is extracted from your iliac crest, which is called bone marrow aspirate (BMA).  The BMA then undergoes a rapid spinning process that separates and concentrates the stem cell layer from the other layers.  This stem cell layer, along with some of the plasma, is removed and is now called bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC).  The BMAC is then injected back into your injured areas that are in need of repair. 

COMMON CONDITIONS TREATED

• Cervical and Lumbar Degenerative Joint Disease (Osteoarthritis)
• Degenerative Joint Disease of the Knee, Hip, and Shoulder
• Rotator Cuff Tears
• ACL Tears
• Low Back Pain (Facet Syndrome, Sacroiliitis, etc.)
• Cervical Neck Pain & Instability
• Meniscus Tears
• Labral Tears
Note: Some of the conditions listed above may not require stem cells to fully heal, and will respond favorably to prolotherapy or PRP injections.

FAQ

What are the risks and side effects?
Because stem cell therapy uses your body’s own natural properties to treat your injury, serious side effects are very uncommon. Some patients have extraction site soreness that can last for 1-8 weeks, and some also have increased pain in the areas treated for 24-72 hours post-injection.
Am I guaranteed results?
Like all medical procedures, stem cell procedures have a success and failure rate. An initial consultation with Dr. Timmermans will determine if you are a good candidate. If you are deemed to be a good candidate, our success rate is between 70-85%.
How many treatments will I need?
While each person and condition are different, the majority of patients require 1-2 injections, spread out every 6-12 months, for full resolution of pain. Some patients with certain degenerative conditions may respond better with a pre- or post-PRP treatment.
How soon can I return to activity?
After the procedure, we recommend minimal activity for the first 3-7 days, followed by light activity for another 7 days, followed by increasing intensity on a weekly basis for another 2-4 weeks. You should be back to full activity within 6-8 weeks. Note, some patients may require an off-loader knee brace after a stem cell treatment, depending on the severity of their knee osteoarthritis. Other therapies offered by Regenerative Performance, such as oral and intravenous supplementation, can help speed the healing process.
What is the cost?
Because the procedure protocol will vary from person to person and because each person will have a unique condition to be treated, the pricing of procedures can vary considerably from patient to patient. An evaluation will give you a better idea of condition, treatment and costs specific to your situation.
Does insurance cover this procedure?
Along with other regenerative injection therapies, stem cell therapy is not covered by insurance.
How can I prepare for the injection?
We recommend no corticosteroids (inhaled, topical, oral or injection) or blood thinners (Aspirin, Coumadin, Warfarin, etc.) for 4-6 weeks before the procedure, and no anti-inflammatory medications (Ibuprofen, Advil, etc.) for 3 weeks before the procedure. We also highly recommend an anti-inflammatory diet for both before and after your stem cell procedure. This will be sent to you when you book your stem cell appointment with us.
Do I need stem cells in order to heal?
Not all injuries require stem cells to heal. For many patients the success rate with dextrose Prolotherapy in our office is in the 80%+ range for qualified patients. However, for cases of advanced bone-on-bone arthritis, meniscus tears, labral tears, or more serious tendon and ligament injuries, stem cells may provide a faster and more effective outcome.
How do I get started?
You can get started by booking an appointment with Dr. Timmermans by calling (520) 800-4355.