For any athlete or a busy person on the go, an orthopedic injury or condition can be one of the most devastating diagnoses imaginable. The possibility of long weeks of immobility, endless sessions of physical therapy, modifying or curtailing activities and taking anti-inflammatories is miserable enough. What’s worse is the recommendation that surgery – even as a last resort – is the only viable solution. However, many orthopedists today are offering an alternative treatment that requires no prolonged bed rest and no invasive procedures.
Stem cell therapy is a form of regenerative medicine that has been proven effective to treat a number of orthopedic injuries and conditions, yet for many patients, this may be the first they have heard of it. Here is an explanation of what stem cell therapy is and why your orthopedist may recommend it to treat any number of musculoskeletal conditions
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Also known as regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy is a nonsurgical procedure that promotes regeneration of new, healthy tissue by extracting non-embryonic stem cells from the patient’s own body and then re-injecting them directly into the site of injury to stimulate your body’s repair mechanisms and growth factors, thereby promoting natural healing. Stem cell therapies are a long-time go-to treatment for professional athletes to relieve their pain in lieu of surgery and when conservative treatments like physical therapy and medication have proven ineffective.
How it Works
Adult stem cells are found in a variety of places, including the brain, bone marrow, skeletal muscle, gut, and more. These cells can be transformed into specialized cells that the body requires to heal. When injected into an injured or damaged site, these specialized cells perform as the original specialized cells would do. That’s because stem cells can be changed into any tissue or organ cell, successfully treating any number of issues, including spinal cord injuries, neurological issues, and heart muscle issues. Stem cells can even slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Regarding orthopedic injuries, the National Institutes of Health reports confirms the many successes of stem cell therapy for major orthopedic procedures in terms of bone-joint injuries, osteoarthritis-cartilage defects, ligament-tendon injuries, femoral head osteonecrosis, and osteogenesis imperfect. No wonder orthopedists are recommending these wonder cells as part of an approach to holistic healing.
The Role of Stem Cells in Orthopedic Treatments
Left untreated, musculoskeletal injuries and diseases may have long-lasting and devastating effects. Conditions such as partial tendon and ligament tears in the knee, ankle, shoulder, hip, and wrist have all benefited from stem cell therapies. Stem cell therapy has also proven effective to treat joint pain – from arthritis to local cartilage injury. And while stem cell injections do not cure these problems, they can provide effective pain relief to allow healing to occur. Plus, for patients, stem cell therapy means no going under the knife, no scars or scar tissue, no recovery time, and no risk of infection.
Surgery isn’t always warranted in regard to orthopedic conditions. South Palm Orthopedics specializes in stem cell therapy as a non-surgical procedure for a variety of orthopedic conditions. To find out of stem cell therapy could be the right choice for you, call South Palm Orthopedics today at 561-496-6622.