What are Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells?
Various types of stem cells may be found in various organs of the body. Adult mesenchymal stem cells (AMSC) have gained great attention in medical literature – particularly for orthopedics – because of their capacity to differentiate into bone, cartilage, and muscle. The two most common sources for these cells are patients’ bone marrow and adipose tissue (fat). After reviewing our protocol and individualizing treatment to our patients, we may recommend one source versus the other.
Harvesting Adipose Tissue
This is a very well-tolerated procedure in which a tiny incision is made near the lower abdomen and, using a small-bore cannula, fat is subsequently harvested. It can feel a little uncomfortable during the harvesting process but is generally well tolerated.
Isolation of AMSC from Adipose
Following adipose harvesting, the adipose tissue will be placed in a tube with resin in it to help isolate the AMSC. Depending on the protocol this product may be immediately injected into the affected joint using imaging guidance for precision placement.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
PRP procedures typically begin with the collection of blood from the vein, like having blood work drawn at doctor’s office. Depending on the protocol and the size of the joint/tissue, roughly 30 ml of blood will be collected. The blood will subsequently be placed in a carefully calibrated centrifuge and spun. Once spun the supernatant with the platelet concentrate will be isolated and reinjected, using imaging guidance for precision, into the affected joint/tissue.
Following the Procedure
AMSC / PRP Injections: A bandage will be placed over the injection site. It is common for patients to experience injection site soreness for 1-2 weeks following the injection. We ask you to avoid any anti-inflammatory medications – such as Advil, Naproxen, or Ibuprofen – following the procedure. It is acceptable to take Tylenol to reduce the soreness. We will schedule follow up visits after the procedure to track your progress and symptom scores, as well as to answer any questions that may arise.