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Stem Cell Injections for Degenerative Disc Disease

A common cause of back pain and disability is degenerative disc disease of the spine. Over time and with continued pressure the discs in between the vertebrae that work as shock absorbers in the spine deteriorate. When they do so, the space between the vertebrae, decrease and nerves can get pinched or bone rubs on bone creating significant and often debilitating pain.

In the past, surgical intervention was the only other option when other non-operative therapies failed. However, there are now newer, innovative ways to treat spinal disease. Here at OmniSpine and Pain Management we offer numerous regenerative therapies that help restore the form and function of vertebral discs and thus reduce pain and disability. The future of medication is in regenerative therapy and OmniSpine and Pain Management is proud to offer stem cell therapy treatments to relieve pain and restore functionality to our clients.

How does Stem Cell Therapy Work?

First, a person’s own stem cells are removed (aspirated) from tissue in that individual’s hip bone or from their fat cells. The cells are then centrifuged (spun) down to separate out specific primitive cells, known as stem cells that aid in the regeneration of tissues. These stem cells are then injected into the disc where they stimulate regeneration of collagen, the substance that the vertebral discs are made of.

What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are basically cells that have not yet been designed for a specific role and so have the potential to become any type of specialized cells. They are categorized as embryonic stem cells or adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells come from the developing human fetus and because their use is ethically controversial they are not typically use for this type of therapy.

Adult stem cells, however, are removed from fully developed adults. The types of adult stem cells are frequently used to treat musculoskeletal conditions are known as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These stem cells can differentiate into bone cells, cartilage cells, or fat cells, all important components of the musculoskeletal system. Mesenchymal stem cells cannot differentiate into any other type of cell.

Conditions Treated with Stem Cell Injections

In addition to degenerative disc disease, stem cell injections are a great option for those who suffer from the following conditions:

  • Osteoarthritis of the knees, hips, shoulders, and ankles
  • Discogenic back pain
  • Spinal facet joint pain
  • Chronic radiculopathy (pinched nerve)
  • Sacroiliac joint pain
  • Chronic partial rotator cuff tears
  • Chronic tendonitis (i.e. tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, quadriceps and patellar tendon tears)
  • Muscular tears
  • Meniscal (cartilage) tears in the knee
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Trochanteric Bursitis

The Procedure

The area to be treated is first identified using ultrasound or fluoroscopy (a special type of x-ray). The area is then cleaned in a sterile fashion and a local anesthetic is injected into the skin. Under the guidance of ultrasound or fluoroscopic, a needle is guided to the area to be treated and the stem cell solution is injected. Most individuals see improvement with just one injection, however, some may require two to three injections. Benefits are usually felt approximately two to three months after treatment has been completed. No more that than three injections should be administered over the span of a year.

*Individual Result May Vary*