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Regenerative medicine is an emerging branch of medicine with the goal of restoring organ and/or tissue function for patients with serious injuries or chronic disease. A growing crisis in chronic pain in our active and aging population have driven a search for new and alternative therapies beyond pain killers, steroids and surgery. Something that can actually "fix" the problem once and for all, not just cover it up.
Regenerative medicine holds the promise to create and repair parts of our bodies damaged due to age, injury or disease. Areas like arthritic knees or damaged spinal discs that are resistant to other treatments. One area of regenerative medicine involves the use of Stem Cells which have the power to naturally regenerate damaged tissues restoring function.
Our office has been on the forefront of regenerative injection treatments as one of its early adopters. Our team of orthopedic specialists have been able to give patients relief who have otherwise been disabled due to pain. While this is by no means a miracle it does hold promise to improve the lives of patients who have been told that surgery or pain medications are their only choice.
There are different types of stem cells, many of which hold great promise for tomorrow, and others that are being used today including "Adult Stem Cells". Adult stem cells are the repair cells that our bodies currently use to mend wounds and heal ourselves. Adult stem cells have been shown to be effective in animal and early human clinical models for treating a wide variety of diseases, including some orthopedic and neurologic diseases. Additionally, adult stem cells can be safely collected from various sources in the human body, such as fat, peripheral blood and bone marrow. Once they are collected they can be transferred to the area of need through the simple process of an injection.
There are two methods of obtaining adult stem cells for use, one is from ones own fat and one from bone. For stem cells from bone, a the area of skin over the side of the iliac crest, an area near the belt line is numbed. Once the skin is numbed the deeper structures are also anesthetized including the surface of the bone where a needle is then introduced. The clinician then aspirates (draws back) a small quantity of blood from the bone marrow which is then spun it down in a special centrifuge to isolate and concentrate the stem cells and other important substances for healing. This simple procedure down in the office can obtain few hundred thousand stem cells which can then be precisely injected back into the problem area, beginning the repair process. This is known as Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC).
The second method of obtaining stem cells is through process of sampling a small amount of abdominal fat in a "mini-liposuction" type procedure. Fat is a rich source of stem cells and can be minimally processed in a way to obtain a composite of tissue and cells that include adult stem cells. Much like the BMAC procedure the concentrated material is then injected into the area of tissue damage such as the knee or the spine to help reduce pain and improve function. These injection are done using realtime ultrasound and x-ray imaging (fluoroscopy) to guide the stem cell placement with pin point accuracy.
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You saved me - without you I could never have completed my book. You are a true healer in every sense of the word. Thanks for being there when I needed it the most!!
Dr. Drew DeMann is the best doctor in the world. I couldn’t have completed the New York City Marathon without him. He is part of my All-Star team.