Board Certified, New York City Based, Osteopath Specializing in Spine, Pain and Sports Medicine
Stem Cell Injection
Where Do Stem Cells Come From?
Unlike what was told in the past, stem cells that are used in stem cell injections are harvested from the patient’s own body. The body has many deposits of stem cells throughout the body. They can be found in the heart, blood, bone marrow, kidney, liver, skin, or any of the organs. The doctor harvests, however, many stem cells they need and create a matrix that is then injected into the injured or damaged part of the body. The stem cells begin to take on the DNA of the host cells creating new cells to replace the damaged ones. As the new cells begin to grow, the damaged cells will begin to die off.
What Types of Conditions Will Stem Cell Injections Help?
Doctors believe they can use stem cell injections, along with other treatment options to provide effective results for individuals who have been diagnosed with migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetic neuropathy, spinal stenosis, and sciatica. The benefits of stem cell injections are only now being realized. Doctors can now use stem cell injections along with PRP injections, and a host of other treatment options to help relieve pain and inflammation, restore range of motion and actually regenerate damaged tissues. With all of the treatment options at their disposal, doctors can help their patients get back on the road to recovery in a fraction of the time it would have taken a few years ago.
Stem Injections For Back Pain
Stem cell injections can be used in many areas of the body including the back or spine. If more conservative measures have failed Dr. Magyar and the team at Network Spine may suggest the use of stem injections for back pain. The back and spine area is one of the most complex and least covered areas for stem cell injections. If other treatment methods such as manual osteopathic manipulation or trigger point injections are not providing relief it often means there is damage to the discs of the spine.
How Do Stem Cell Injections Work?
Stem cell injections work by implanting the blank stems cells in or near the injured area of the body. Stem cells are basically blank cells with no identifying DNA. Once they are implanted into an area where damage has occurred, the stem cells begin to take on the characteristics or identifying factors of the damaged cells. Once they have the DNA, they can begin to replicate the damaged cells in their healthiest state. This allows new, healthy cells to be created that will eventually take the place of the cells that were damaged by the illness or injury. When used in conjunction with physical therapy, stem cell injections can encourage a healing response that hastens the recovery period, allowing the person to get back on their feet much quicker.
Do Stem Cell Injections Work?
Yes. Stem cell injections work for specific conditions. In the orthopedic realm, there is evidence for lumbar degenerative discs, rotator cuff repair, knee osteoarthritis, hip, and knee osteonecrosis. This is a growing field and the science behind it is still growing as more outcome studies and research becomes available
Stem Cell Injection Process
Dr. Magyar advises prior to the injection to not take any anti-inflammatories for 1 week. The initial step is to harvest your own stem cells (bone marrow) for use. Most often the stem cells are taken from the posterior Iliac crest site. Using ultrasound the harvest site is identified. A needle is used with local anesthetics to withdraw. A manual turning technique is used to capture about 60mL. The bone marrow aspirate is spun down to create a concentratie of about 3-6 mL in size. The concentrate is then injected into the injured tissue that is trying to be regenerated.
Post Stem Cell Injection
After your stem cell injection, there will be a period of immobilization to ensure the stem cell injection area can recover. We encourage physical therapy after stem cell injections to promote a healing response that hastens the recovery period, allowing the person to get back on their feet much quicker. Follow up is based on the specifics of the cause of the pain, location, and the injury area.
Stem Cell Injection Risks
Infection is always an inherent risk when you break the skin. But that is avoidable with sterile environoments and tools. Residual pain and sometimes be felt in and around the injection site. Additionally, if injections are done improperly nerve injury or re-injury is possible.
Stem Injections and Insurance
Currently, stem cells are not covered by commercial insurance providers. This makes it a cash service that is paid out of pocket by the patient. If you feel that stem cell injections could help treat your pain the team at Network Spine will lay out all options and work with you to understanding the potential costs. In some scenarios, PRP injections can be an alternative treatment option if the pain and damage are less severe. It is also a more cost-effective option even though is it also not covered by insurance.
We will walk through all the treatment options we think are the best fit for your scenario and clearly lay out any potential costs.