FAQ’s on Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapies
The Colorado Clinic utilizes stem cells to treat various types of conditions and diseases, including those associated with musculoskeletal problems. Stem cell therapy is presently in its beginning stages, but even so it has shown very promising results. Here are some FAQs focusing on stem cells, including descriptions of different kinds of cells, what they may be used for, and their potential.
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are known as the body’s natural repair kit. In practical application and experimental trials, stem cells have been found to possess the potential to treat many different health care challenges. These include injuries to the musculoskeletal system, wound healing, neurological disorders and injuries, heart problems, cancer, and more.
What types of stem cells are there?
Stem cells may be defined by the place from which they are harvested. There are four kinds of cells. These are adult, perinatal, embryonic, and induced pluripotent. Colorado Clinic does NOT use embryonic, eliminating ethical concerns.
What are adult stem cells?
Adult stem cells are found in adults in various areas of the body. Most commonly these cells are harvested from bone marrow and fat. They may be used to heal wounds, to treat arthritis, and to repair knees, joints, and other musculoskeletal injuries. Adult stem cells have a great ability to differentiate, which means they may adapt to be used specifically in ligament, joint, and tendon repair.
What are perinatal stem cells?
Perinatal stem cells are harvested from amniotic fluid from a pregnant mother who has consented to the process. The cells are often secured when an expectant mother undergoes a scheduled c-section. Consent is obtained, and the fetus is not harmed in any way. The fluid is processed at an FDA regulated facility. Perinatal stem cells are very useful in regenerative medicine.
What are embryonic stem cells?
Embryonic stem cells are considered some of the most powerful and versatile available stem cells. These cells may be found in embryos that have been formed through the in vitro fertilization of a woman’s egg. These cells are harvested from early stage embryos, and because they are taken from human embryos there is a lot of controversy concerning the ethics of capturing these cells. There are specific guidelines, developed by the National Institutes of Health, regarding the use of embryonic stem cells in research and how such cells may be donated. These pluripotent are useful in a wide range of applications and are extremely useful the repair and regeneration of organs that are damaged or diseased.
Colorado Clinic does NOT use embryonic stem cells.
What are induced pluripotent stem cells?
Induced pluripotent stem cells are unique in that they are adult stem cells that have been transformed in the laboratory and reprogrammed. Doing so gives these cells properties associated with embryonic stem cells. Thus, these adult stems cells are more versatile and powerful, making them more like embryonic stem cells. However, these cells are still in the testing phase, as various unwanted consequences and side effects are unknown.
Which types of cells are most often used in patient treatment?
The most commonly used stem cells are adult and perinatal. Embryonic stems cells have shown a lot of promise, but their harvesting is tightly monitored and controlled. Induced pluripotent stem cells may see more use in the future after further clinical trials.
What types of medical problems respond to stem cell treatments?
There is a range of medical problems that react favorably to stem cell therapy. Adult and embryonic stem cell treatments are used to treat conditions connected to ligament, tendon, joint, muscle, and bone damage and disease. Such cells are also used to facilitate wound healing. It’s expected that in the future stem cells will be found to be useful in treating even more conditions and diseases.
Medical Conditions that may benefit from regenerative medicine procedures include:
• Tendonitis – Shoulder, Elbow, Hip, Knee, Achilles
• Golfer’s or Tennis Elbow
• Ligament Sprains
• Bursitis (e.g. hip)
• Joint Arthritis
• Fractures (e.g. hip)
• Cartilage Defects
• SI Joint Inflammation or Arthritis
• Facet Syndrome
• Spinal Arthritis
• Hip, Knee, Shoulder Arthritis
• Occipital Neuralgia
• Hair Loss
• Peripheral Artery Disease
Is stem cell therapy risky?
Stem cell therapy involves very little risk and may be administered in a doctor’s office.
What are the benefits of stem cell treatment?
Stem cell treatment is overall noninvasive and very safe. There’s little risk of infection or complications. Plus, unlike drug therapy there are no side effects and unlike surgery no rehabilitation time.
Is Regenerative Medicine Being Used in Clinical Practice?
Absolutely. Over the past few years, multiple regenerative medicine stem cell treatments have entered clinical practice for pain management, orthopedics, sports medicine, cosmetic procedures and vascular indication. These involve adult stem cells, therefore, not considered controversial.
The various treatment procedures being used at Colorado Clinic are:
- Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
- Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cell Injections
- Fat Derived Stem Cell Injections
- Amniotic Derived Stem Cell Injections