What are stem cells?
Early in tissue development, basic and undifferentiated cells proliferate and become like appearing and like functioning. Each multiplication of the cell causes that cell to become more specific or less undifferentiated. This proliferation and transformation creates a specific tissue i.e. bone, lung, nerve, heart tissue etc. The earliest undifferentiated cells are “stem cells”. In effect, cells that haven’t declared their major.
Why Stem Cells?
There is great interest in utilizing stem cells for tissue repair and tissue replacement.
At Active Sports Medicine we have created a program that utilizes stem cell therapy to provide treatment for a host of orthopedic illnesses, from arthritis to tendon tears. Stem cells can be administered in our office, as well as in the operating room as an adjunct to surgical repairs/reconstructions.
Where do stem cells come from?
Stem cells can be harvested from multiple sites including the patient’s own tissue. We at Active Sports Medicine use amniotic fluid and amniotic membrane as the source of our stem cells. The material is donated by healthy volunteer mothers that have been screened in great detail prior to elective c-section. This material is not derived from the embryo or fetus and is material that would be otherwise discarded. Donated stem cells eliminate the need for painful and costly harvesting procedures and allows for consistent cell count each time.
How is stem cell therapy administered?
Stem cells are placed at the site of injury using ultrasound guidance in the office or arthroscopic and/or direct visualization in the operating room.
The injured or newly repaired tissue (depending on the specific application) beckons the stem cells through chemical signals to finally declare themselves and begin a repair.
We are very pleased and excited by our early experience with stem cell therapy and we think stem cells provide an additional treatment path for orthopedic injuries.