September 2015

Are we already in the future? An Introduction to Orthopedic Stem Cell Treatment

Arthritis and joint pain, especially with advancing age becomes a serious and debilitating issue. Limiting our mobility and quality of life. Treatments usually take the form of supplements, long-winded physical rehabilitation or most drastically, surgery. This carries the risk of any invasive procedure and requires post-surgical recovery. However there is another solution.

It might sound like something from science fiction, or at the very least future wishful thinking, but stem cell treatment is already a reality. Incredible advances made in the use of stem cells in the last two decades now mean that we can treat a host of illnesses and issues with this method.

One of the fastest growing methods for the use of stem cells is orthopedic stem cell treatment to treat joint pain primarily caused by arthritis. Stem cells are used to repair tissue inside the joint and can lead to a close to miraculous acceleration of healing, creating new tissue in joints resulting in reduced pain and increasing the joint’s mobility.


How does this treatment work?

Mesenchymal stem cells are a type of stem cell that can differentiate into a series of other more specialized cells in the body, including bone, muscle, fat and most importantly cartilage cells. One of their elementary functions is the repair and renewal of damaged tissue, including connective tissue in the body.

In many other types of treatments stem cells are extracted from a patient’s bone marrow in a highly painful procedure, but it is the opposite case with our type of treatment. Extraction of stem cells occurs from the stromal vascular fraction, a section of adipose tissue (essentially fat deposits). Adipose tissue is an abundant source of SVF stem cells, which can be directly used for orthopedic treatment. Extraction involves a painless small-scale liposuction procedure. The procedure happens under local anesthetics, is completely painless and the patient remains conscious throughout. The procedure only takes a couple of minutes, with the best areas for extraction being around the abdomen and buttocks. It is important to note that the miniliposuction carries no risk of scar formation.

After the adipose tissue has been extracted from the patient, the stem cells need to be isolated to create a cell concentrate which will later be injected into the patient. The adipose tissue undergoes a specialized process, which isolates the stem cells. These stem cells are then “activated” from their dormant state, and made into a specialized solution ready for injection.

Finally, an orthopedic surgeon will take the so-called SVF Cell Concentrate and apply it locally and directly via injection to the necessary location.  The stem cells will immediately begin homing onto injured and damaged areas and begin the regenerative process.

The complete procedure lasts only about 3 hours, and the patient’s daily activities are not hindered in any significant way.  The regeneration can take a total time of two to three months, with noticeable improvement in the patient’s condition within a week after the procedure.