If you want to prolong or avoid surgery for a soft tissue injury, fracture, or degenerative disease, you may be a candidate for stem cell therapy.
At his orthopaedic surgery practice, Carlos Uquillas, MD, specializes in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgeries for kids and adults. Before you need to undergo surgery, Dr. Uquillas may recommend trying stem cell therapy to repair your injury or slow the progression of diseases like arthritis from the inside out.
How stem cells work inside your body
Stem cells are a type of regenerative medicine that can treat a variety of injuries, including those from sports, and from degenerative diseases that affect your joints and spine.
Stem cells are found in your body’s own fatty tissue and bone marrow. These cells have the unique ability to regenerate into any type of cell, including bone, soft tissue, and nerve cells. By injecting high concentrations of stem cells into the site of injury, Dr. Uquillas can prompt your body to grow new cells to replace those that are damaged.
The stem cell therapy process
To access the stem cells needed for your therapy, Dr. Uquillas extracts them from your own body. He prepares them in a centrifuge that quickly spins the materials to isolate stem cells. This results in a high concentration of cells used for reinjection into your body.
Following an individualized treatment plan, Dr. Uquillas injects stem cells into the area of injury during an in-office procedure. Over time, stem cells regenerate into new healthy cells to heal fractures, repair ligament damage, and improve joint function.
It takes time for new cells to grow and replace damaged cells. Within a month of your procedure, you should begin to experience a reduction in inflammation and pain and an increase in the mobility and range of motion in the treatment area.
As new cells continue to grow in the months after your injection, your results will continue to get better. Dr. Uquillas often recommends stem cell therapy to help you put off surgery or avoid it entirely in the treatment of sports-related injuries or degenerative diseases.
Determining your candidacy for stem cell therapy
Stem cell therapy is both a safe and effective treatment for many people living with a painful musculoskeletal injury. Because the stem cells used in treatment come from your own body, there’s little risk for complications.
To determine if stem cell therapy is right for you, Dr. Uquillas reviews your personal and family medical history and does a thorough physical exam. He may request diagnostic testing, such as X-rays or a computed tomography (CT) scan, to evaluate the type and severity of your injury. He offers regenerative therapies to treat:
Stem cell therapy can be used to treat your hips, shoulders, knees, and spine.
Initially, you may benefit from medications to control pain and inflammation and physical therapy to help you heal naturally. However, if these therapies aren’t enough to treat your condition, you may be a candidate for stem cell therapy before surgery is considered.
More regenerative medicine options
Dr. Uquillas also offers another type of regenerative medicine. Instead of using stem cells, he may recommend injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
PRP is also found naturally in your body and contains special growth factors that promote healing in your soft tissues. To extract PRP, Dr. Uquillas withdraws a sample of your blood and prepares it in a centrifuge before injecting the concentrated plasma into your muscles, ligaments, or tendons to trigger your body’s own healing processes.
If you’re looking for an alternative to surgery for ligament tears, bone fractures, or joint dysfunction, find out if you’re a candidate for stem cell therapy by calling the office of Carlos A. Uquillas, MD, nearest you or by requesting an appointment online today.