Stem Cell Therapy – Conditions Treated and Procedure
What Types of Spinal Conditions can Stem Cells Treat?
For those patients who are ideal candidates for stem cell therapy, this procedure provides a significant reduction in low back pain and improved quality of life, without the need for spine surgery. Stem Cell injections in our practice are focused on treatment of the following conditions:
- Discogenic back pain
- Low back Pain
- Chronic sciatica or radiculopathy
- Degenerative disc disease
Am I a Good Candidate for Stem Cell Therapy?
The ideal candidate for stem cell low back pain injections is a person who is suffering from a degenerative disc, or disc tear in the annulus (outer layer of the spinal disc). The pain may have been generated from injury, damage as a result of overuse, or trauma. Most ideal patients are in their late 30s to mid – 70s suffering from degenerative disc disease. Patients seeking stem cell injections are seeking ways to get back to their active lifestyle like gardening, sports or physical work.
Unfortunately, not all patients are good candidates for stem cell therapy. To determine if you are a good candidate for stem cell therapy our surgeon will review your history, perform a physical examination, and will need to see an up-to-date X-ray and an MRI. If you are a good candidate for the procedure, a member of our team will explain how stem cell therapy works and what will happen throughout the procedure, and answer any other questions you may have.
How Is The Stem Cell Procedure Performed?
- You will be given the option IV sedation or local numbing medicine, similar to what you would receive for a pain management injection. Even though you may be awake and talking during the stem cell therapy procedure, you should have very little, if any, recollection of the procedure itself.
- Our experienced spine surgeon, under X-ray guidance, will aspirate some of your bone marrow from your iliac crest or hip. This sterile process is brief and our staff will ensure that you are comfortable throughout the procedure.
- The sterile bone marrow aspirate will be placed into a centrifuge device that will separate the stem cells from the bone marrow.
- These isolated mesenchymal stem cells are then transferred to a new sterile syringe and ready to inject into the patient’s degenerative disc.
- The entire procedure will take about an hour.
What Can I Expect After the Procedure?
Stem cell treatment is normally done as an outpatient procedure with patients going home a few hours afterward. Patients can resume low impact activities immediately.
It is important after your procedure to adhere to your post-procedure restrictions, which Dr. Rodriguez will cover with you before your procedure. For the procedure to have the best outcome and benefit, Dr. Rodriguez strongly recommends the following:
- Rest for 24-48 hours but do not lie sedentary
- Do not use any anti-inflammatory medication, ie. Advil or Aleve
- Cardio is allowed after 2 weeks of rest
- Weightlifting and running are permitted after 4 weeks
Currently, the stem cell therapy conducted by Dr. Marco Rodriguez is an individualized treatment and is considered investigational.