What are Stem Cells

//What are Stem Cells

An Overview of Stem Cell Therapy in Orthopedic Medicine

Countless individuals living in the Denver, Vail and Aspen, Colorado communities experience orthopedic injuries and chronic joint disorders each year. In many cases, Dr. Matthew Provencher begins treatment with non-surgical measures that include rest, heat and ice therapy, medications and physical therapy. Unfortunately, conservative treatment does not always provide symptom relief, or the injury is too severe for these measures. When conservative treatments fail, the next step is usually surgery. That is not always the case in Dr. Provencher’s orthopedic office since he provides adult stem cell injections. What are stem cells? Adult ‘autologous’ stem cells are found within the human body and have the natural ability to provide tissue regeneration and accelerated healing with the use of stem cell therapy.

What are Stem Cells?

Many patients question, what are stem cells? Adult stem cells are found throughout a person’s body in their bone marrow and provide the natural ability to help an injured joint heal more rapidly by regenerating new soft tissue, and even bone, following damage.

What Conditions can Stem Cell Therapy Treat?

Stem cell injections are gaining popularity in the orthopedic field as a safe, effective and innovative biologic treatment option. Common orthopedic uses include:

  • Cartilage injuries
  • Ligament injuries
  • Tendon injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Degenerative joint conditions such as osteoarthritis

How are Stem Cell Injections Performed by Dr. Provencher?

Stem cell therapy begins by Dr. Provencher harvesting adult stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow. The sample is typically collected from the hip region. The bone marrow is then spun in a centrifuge so the blood is separated into various parts, including a healing combination of adult stem cells, platelets and white blood cells. This combination is injected directly into the patient’s injured joint by Dr. Provencher to begin accelerated healing and tissue regeneration.

As the body ages, its ability to regenerate tissue from autologous (its own) stem cells diminishes. After age 60, autologous stem cell therapy typically fails to provide regeneration because there are not enough stem cells in the bone marrow. Due to this decline in autologous stem cells, patients over 60 years of age generally achieve better results using a combination of a healing accelerator, such as PRP or an amniotic-fluid derived allograft, and allograft tissues derived from another source for regeneration. Dr. Provencher will explain these options in great detail with each patient on an individual basis.

Please note that the stem cell therapy offered by Dr. Provencher is classified as autologous because it utilizes a patient’s very own adult stem cells instead of the controversial fetal/embryonic stem cells. By using a patient’s own adult stem cells, the risk of disease transmission, tissue rejection and infection is eliminated.

What are stem cells? For the answer to that question and more information on stem cell injections, please contact the Denver, Vail and Aspen, Colorado area office of Dr. Matthew Provencher. His orthopedic team is available to explain the many healing benefits of adult stem cell therapy.