Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy, or regenerative medicine, is part of a growing conservative treatment option for patients wishing to avoid surgical intervention.
Helping Our Spinal Disc Heal Itself
The International Spine Institute, serving Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, is excited to offer stem cell therapy, an innovative and truly least invasive treatment option for patients suffering from low back pain. The growing field known as regenerative medicine includes the use of your body’s own stem cells to treat injuries to your spinal discs caused by degenerative disc disease. The advancement of stem cells is a growing research field, however, only select patients would qualify for treatment based on selection criteria and current research evidence for discogenic disc low back pain. When appropriate, Dr. Rodrigeuz offers stem cells collected from bone marrow aspirate for patients in our office located in New Orleans as well as our surgical center in Baton Rouge. Patients must be diligent in their internet search to find solutions to their back pain. The buyer must be aware that there are many firms advertising stem cell cures to the ailing back. Many patients are being targeted with marketing and may not be good candidates for stem cell therapy or regenerative medicine. It is best to get an expert second opinion from a reputable spine surgeon before agreeing to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket.
“We’re just the facilitators – helping the body to heal itself. Sometimes the best way to fix something is to put things in place and let the body do all the work.” – Marco Rodriguez, MD, Orthopedic Spine Surgeon
What are Stem Cells?
There is a lot of news and hype today about stem cells being a cure for low back pain and many other fields of medicine. For some, stem cells represent great hope of relieving the painful low back. The key to success lies in proper and early diagnosis of degenerative disc disease. If the painful disc is too degenerative it can contribute to treatment failure.
It is important to understand what are stem cells and how they work. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can become specialized types of cells. There are two types of stem cells: embryonic or adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are derived from a human fetus. Because of ethical concerns with these types of stem cells, they are not used in our practice. Adult stem cells used to treat musculoskeletal issues are known as mesenchymal stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells can differentiate into cartilage cells, fat cells, and bone cells. Adult stem cells can be derived from your own body taken from bone marrow or from adipose fat around your abdomen. At the International Spine Institute, we only use stem cells derived from bone marrow because the majority of research nationally suggests bone marrow concentrate is most effective. Additionally, the FDA supports bone marrow aspirate concentration
Mesenchymal stem cells coordinate the healing process by creating scar then sealing and healing the injury. Since there is an inadequate blood supply in your spinal disc, stem cells do not readily get to a painful disc tear in order to heal and seal it. Therefore, using a sterile technique, we harvest your own stem cells from your body’s bone marrow located in your hip bone (iliac bone). These cells are concentrated and reintroduced to the injured or torn disc, in order to seal and heal the disc, resulting in diminished and decreased pain.
Why Stem Cell Therapy?
Regenerative medicine or stem cell therapy offers an excellent option for treating severe back pain and disability due to painful spinal conditions, like discogenic back pain. Historically, therapies did not exist to slow or regenerate the degenerative disc process, often leaving surgery as the only option. In select patients, there is now hope of a less invasive regenerative disc therapy that may be able to seal and heal the degenerated spinal disc.
In the United States, greater than 400,000 lumbar micro-discectomies and 500,000 spine fusions are performed each year for lumbar degenerative disc symptoms. Physicians and patients alike prefer long-term healing from these spine-related conditions without surgery. At ISI, we are currently able to offer a stem cell therapy option for qualified candidates.
Stem cell therapy performed by our surgeon, Dr. Rodriguez, is an innovative and Least Invasive way to use your body’s own stem cells to treat chronic painful spinal conditions and disc injuries, that have not improved following conservative, non-surgical treatments. Many patients that visit us have tried all types of treatments as alternatives to invasive spinal surgery.
- Do you suffer from low back pain?
- Have you been told you are a candidate for lumbar spinal fusion?
- Is the low back pain you suffer from affecting your ability to work or play?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, continue to read more about what stem cells are and how they may be helpful for you. Call us to see if you could be a candidate for stem cell therapy at the International Spine Institute.
Currently, the stem cell therapy conducted by Dr. Marco Rodriguez is an individualized treatment and is considered investigational.