NOTE: WE HAVE PAUSED STEM CELL THERAPY DUE TO ONGOING REGULATION BY THE FDA, AND RECENT STUDIES.
WE ARE STILL PERFORMING PRP INJECTIONS WHICH WE FEEL HAVE FAR MORE EVIDENCE IN ORTHOPEDICS
What is Stem Cell Therapy (BMAC and Adipose / Fat)?
The use of adipose tissue has taken on increasing importance in the field of regenerative stem cell therapy. It has recently obtained FDA clearance, but as of today, insurance companies are not covering this procedure. It makes use of the high stem cell density of adipose thought to be 1 out of every 100 cells. This technique utilizes mild mechanical forces in a closed system to produce micro fractured and purified adipose tissue graft which is ready to use in a variety of orthopedic and regenerative applications.
BMAC / Lipoaspirate is a type of autograft (from your own body), same-day stem cell therapy.
This is VERY important. Many clinics are advertising stem cell injections, but are using amniotic stem cells (called an allograft). These are not only of lower quality, but they also carry a small risk of infection. If you are going to consider a stem cell therapy procedure, you should always use your own stem cells, and not someone else’s cells.
Lipoaspirates are obtained from the abdomen or love handle area through a quick liposuction procedure. The gentle liposuction takes a few minutes, and the whole time in the office is an estimated 60-90 minutes.
Does Stem Cell Therapy Work?
Many patients are doing very well with stem cell therapy. By this we mean a decrease in pain levels, and an increase in activities. This does not mean that all patients will do well.
Mesenchymal Stem cell therapy works similarly to PRP in that it uses the patient’s own cells in an attempt to stimulate healing. The difference is that PRP uses platelets in the blood to boost healing, whereas stem cell therapy uses the patient’s own stem cells. There are several different types of stem cell sources, including amniotic, bone marrow and adipose tissue (or fat tissue). Dr. Kanaan is currently performing injections using both adipose and bone marrow as he feels that the evidence supports these sources over the use of amniotic stem cell injections. The evidence for stem cell injections is promising with most case studies showing decreases in pain scores, and increases in activities. However, Dr. Kanaan makes it clear to all of his patients that these procedures are purely experimental, and that there are no large clinical studies that show regeneration of tissue with either the PRP or the stem cell treatments.
How much does Stem Cell Therapy cost?
*Insurance does not currently cover stem cell therapy despite a growing body of evidence in support of this procedure. We take many payment options.
At Wake Nonsurgical Ortho & Sports Medicine we focus entirely on nonsurgical and minimally invasive treatments to relieve knee pain, promote healing, rehabilitate, and prevent future injuries. We also strongly feel that the key to a long and healthy lifestyle is to stay active, and we make every attempt to return patients to the recreational and competitive activities that they enjoy.
PRP vs. Stem Cell Therapy
Advanced regenerative treatments are NOT covered by insurance, and there are a lot of clinics that use this to take advantage of patients by selling treatments that are misrepresented. Never trust a clinic that promises results that are too good to be true. We at Wake Nonsurgical Ortho & Sports Medicine we try to have honest conversations with our patients about our outcomes.
So why choose PRP? There are many reasons that we suggest trying PRP first, but we factor in the cost, patient outcomes, and the actual research that is available. The evidence is actually really good for PRP in reducing pain for various conditions.
Same day spun PRP also contains some stem cells that circulate in the blood. While they may not be in the same concentration as a fat or bone marrow aspirate, we know that stem cells do circulate in human blood.
BEFORE you pay thousands of dollars on advanced regenerative treatments we would suggest taking with Dr. Kanaan about all options and we would suggest trying PRP before jumping straight into stem cells (MSCs, umbilical , amniotic, etc).
Schedule an Appointment for Stem Cell Therapy
Dr. Matthew Kanaan is a board-certified sports medicine physician who specializes performing stem cell therapy for patients looking to relieve their chronic pain and get back to living an active lifestyle. He understands that the key to a long and healthy lifestyle is to stay active, and we make every attempt to return patients to the quality of life that allows them to enjoy recreational and daily activities they enjoy. For more information about how stem cell therapy can help get you back in the game, call (919) 719-2270, and schedule a consultation today!
*NOTE TO PATIENTS: If you are interested in PRP, Stem Cells, or Lubricant Injections you will need to schedule a “NEW PATIENT visit” to discuss your medical history with Dr. Kanaan first. This is usually covered under your insurance plan. We will sometimes make exceptions for patients traveling over 3 hours to our clinic.
Current Research on Stem Cells
- Jaewoo P, Jung Hun Lee , et al. “Cartilage Regeneration in Human with Adipose Tissue-Derived Stem Cells: Current Status in Clinical Implications”. BioMed Research International. Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4702674, 12 pages
- Chang YH, Liu HW et al. “Mesenchymal Stem Cells and their Clinical Applications in Osteoarthritis”. Cell Transplant. 2015 Dec 18
- “Regeneration of articular cartilage using adipose stem cells”. J Biomed Mater Res A. 2016 Mar 17.
- Merchán. “Intra-Articular Injections of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Knee Osteoarthritis” Am J Orthop. 2014;43(12):E282-E291.