Regenerative therapies for the spine are the future for spinal treatments. Painful discs in low back are common causes of severe back pain and disability. Historically, therapies did not exist to regenerate the degenerative process in a vertebral disc, often leaving surgical intervention as the only option if other non-operative treatment options have failed. In selected patients, stem cells therapy provides another viable nonsurgical option to treat degenerative disc disease causing lower back pain.
This is how it works
We obtain a patient’s own stem cells by aspirating tissue from the patient’s Pelvic bone. These cells are centrifuged down to identify and separate specific cells that will help heal tissues. Stem cells are then injected into the disc, stimulating healing of the disc by using these primitive blood cells to stimulate regeneration of the collagen within the disc.
What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the potential to become specialized types of cells. Adult stem cells are derived from adults and can be obtained from your very own body! Adult stem cells are further divided into different categories. For example, the types of adult stem cells we use to treat musculoskeletal issues are known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These are multi-potent cells that can differentiate into bone cells, cartilage cells, or fat cells.
How Are the Stem Cells Injected?
The area of injury is first identified using fluoroscopy. The area is then sterilized, and the skin above the area is numbed with a novocaine-type solution. Using fluoroscopic guidance, the needle is guided to the area of disc being treated, and the stem cell solution is injected.
What are the risks of stem cell treatments?
The risks depend on the area being treated; however, there is always a potential risk of an injection causing infection, bleeding, or nerve damage.
When Will I See Benefit From the Procedure?
The benefit is usually seen approximately two to three months after the whole treatment protocol has completed; however, you may start to notice the benefit sooner than this.
One of the benefits of stem cell therapy is that it is nonsurgical. Once treatment is complete, the patient will be able to return home with minimal downtime. Dr. Shanti will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process.
Want to find out if stem cell therapy can help you? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Shanti at Cary Orthopaedics or contact our spine surgery team at (919) 297-0000. We have several offices serving Raleigh, Durham, Cary, and the rest of North Carolina’s Triangle region.