As people are living longer and engaging in activity well into their golden years, the prevalence of musculoskeletal degeneration and orthopedic injuries have also increased. Stem cell therapy is another type of regenerative medicine treatment that is revolutionizing the way injuries and degeneration of muscles, tendons, and ligaments are treated.
Mesenchymal stem cells are a type of adult stem cell that can be found and collected from bone marrow. Stem cells have the distinct ability to turn into various specialized cells that repair degenerated or damaged tissue. Because of their ability to develop into other tissue types, stem cells accelerate the healing process, alleviating pain symptoms and providing a faster recovery from injury or illness.
How do you collect stem cells?
The process of collecting stem cells is surprisingly quick and simple. Like other regenerative injection treatments, this is a same-day procedure which takes approximately 90 minutes. Collecting stem cells during a doctor visit involves the following steps:
- After numbing the area, bone marrow is collected from the patient utilizing ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance.
- The sample is placed into a centrifuge and “spun,” separating the different components.
- The regenerative cells, including stem cells and other proteins and growth factors found in the bone marrow, are extracted and prepared.
- Depending on the site, dynamic ultrasound and x-ray fluoroscopic guidance are used to selectively target the injured structures as painlessly as possible.