Stem Cell Basics
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are specialized cells that can replicate themselves and transform into various tissue forming cells.
What basic types of stem cells are there?
There are two primary types of stem cells – adult and embryonic.
Embryonic stem cells are obtained from an embryo during the very early stages of embryonic development. Their use is quite controversial due to concerns about safety and ethics of how they are gathered and used.
Adult stem cells are your own cells. These stem cells reside in reservoirs throughout your body, and your body uses these stored cells for tissue repair and regeneration – they are the reason our bodies can heal. The stem cells your physician will be injecting are simply a concentrated supply of your own cells! Adult stem cell use is not controversial, in part to their safety and renewable nature.
Where are adult stem cells found?
Adult stem cells are found throughout your body. They orchestrate the formation of tissue such as bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, heart tissues, blood vessels, and nerves. The richest source for these cells are your bone marrow and fat. Bone marrow is found inside your bones. Using a small needle, your physician will aspirate a small amount of your adult stem cell rich marrow to obtain the cells needed for your injection procedure.
Why do we use stem cells?
Adult stem cells have been shown to transform into site-specific tissue. As we age, some of these regenerative cells decrease in number. Your physician will use a specialized device to concentrate your own cells, to harness and enrich your body’s own ability to heal injured tissues. In other words, this procedure allows us to mimic the healing power of your younger self.
What conditions can concentrated stem cells help?
- Degenerative Disc Disease in the Cervical, Thoracic, and Lumbar Spine
- Mild to Moderate Osteoarthritis in any major or minor joint
- Partial tears of any tendon, ligament, meniscus, or muscle
- Augment to traditional orthopedic surgical repair to improve healing
- Chronic muscle strain or sprain
- Avascular Necrosis