03 Nov Stem Cell Therapy for Sports Injuries
Specifically, stem cell therapy has proven effective in treating tendon and ligament damage, muscle pain, and cartilage damage. Whether caused by chronic damage or a one-time incident, stem cells might be applied through a direct surgical application, stem-cell bearing sutures, or by injection.
Stem cell therapy can be applied directly to a torn bone, tendon or ligament. Your doctor might recommend that a muscle, ligament or tendon be stitched back together with stem cell-bearing sutures instead. It’s similar to a surgical thread but coated with stem cells which are then absorbed by the body. However, sometimes a swift injection is the best-recommended approach.
Sports Injuries and Stem Cells
Stem cell therapy might be enjoying a surplus of media attention, but a lot of patients aren’t sure exactly what they are. They’re not skin cells, liver cells, muscle cells, or any other type of human cell. Stem cells are unique because they have the ability to duplicate naturally. When this happens, they can turn into a variety of types of cells. Stem cells aren’t designed to serve a particular function, but they can transform into a cell that does—like a tendon cell, for example.
The theory is that when a stem cell is put into a certain environment where a bodily need is required, such as muscle repair, the stem cell will turn into whatever cell it needs to be to solve the problem. That’s why when stem cells are put close to a damaged tendon. It’s expected that they’ll turn into a healthy tendon cell and fix the issue.
Where Do Stem Cells Come From?
This might sound like a fantastic solution to sports injuries, but where do stem cells come from? Ideally, the stem cells used to come directly from the patient. When that’s not possible, embryonic and fetal stem cells are used in other countries, but that practice is illegal in the U.S. That’s why your doctor will emphasize the importance of sourcing your own stem cells. This process is “harvesting.” Your doctor can harvest stem cells from your bone marrow, fat or blood. Bone marrow will require anesthesia and is more invasive and expensive.
Currently, there aren’t any official medical guidelines outlining which patients can receive stem cell therapy. It’s a decision to be made between patient and doctor. If you’re interested in learning more about stem cell therapy for sports injuries at Integrated Pain Consultants, call 480-626-2552 today. We also invite you to learn more about Dr. Nikesh Seth and other providers including Dr. Anne-Marie Cosijns, Dr. Lisa Sparks, Dr. Michael Givens, and our team of Nurse Practitioners.