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Stem Cell Therapy 101

Have you heard of stem cell therapy?  It is one of the newest techniques being used in medicine today, and it has been extremely successful for people who need repair of tissue that is either diseased, damaged, or that has degenerated to the point of causing pain. Stem cells are a special type of cell that grow into more cells that are similar to themselves. Stem cell therapy uses cells drawn from the patient and then injected into the area that needs attention so that they can repair the damaged or diseased area.


Stem cell therapy has been used to treat many different types of medical problems, and one of the most exciting areas is in treating conditions of the spine. Patients own stem cells are being drawn from areas of healthy tissue and then reinjected to treat bulging or herniated discs as well as discs that have worn down as a result of wear and tear.  The idea is that the cells can differentiate into new cartilage and eliminate pain. The stem cells used are known as adult Mesynchymal stem cells, and research has shown that they both regenerate the outer tissue of a bulging disc (thereby reducing the bulge), but also bring more oxygen to the disc, helping it to heal more quickly. The stem cells were also shown to suppress inflammation, which can interrupt the healing process and cause pain.


Patients who pursue stem cell therapy for the treatment of spine conditions are treated using a same-day procedure on an outpatient basis. It provides an excellent alternative to surgery.


The procedure is done in the physician’s outpatient location, which provides a safe and comfortable sterile environment. It usually involves having a small amount of stem cells extracted from either bone marrow or fat. Many patients express concern about this procedure based on their familiarity with bone marrow extraction done for donors, but the aspiration process is far more comfortable. The cells are then processed in the laboratory while the patient waits. The process will concentrate the cells and combine them with natural growth factors from your blood platelets.


After the cells are ready, the stem cell mixture will be reinjected, using advanced guidance imaging to make sure that it is properly placed at the site where the repair is needed.


Stem cell therapy provides a targeted approach to healing injury. It delivers a greater number of stem cells to the site of your pain than the body can accomplish on its own. This state-of-the-art approach has been the focus of intensive research and improvement in the last several years. It has been shown to provide patients with significant pain relief and improved range of motion and function.


At Central Texas Spine Institute LLC, we are experienced in the use of Stem Cell Therapy, as well as other innovative treatment protocols that can relieve pain and improve the quality of your life while avoiding surgery. To learn more about how we can help you, contact our office today to set up an appointment.