Stem Cell Treatments in Regenerative Orthopedic Medicine
Specialists at NYU Langone’s Center for Regenerative Orthopedic Medicine use stem cell therapies as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for musculoskeletal injuries and conditions.
Stem cells are a special type of cell. Some types, given the right conditions, can develop into different types of cells, such as muscle, bone, cartilage, blood, or nerve cells. Evidence suggests that for some conditions, injecting stem cells into the damaged tissue reduces inflammation and pain, improves function, and may help the tissue to heal and regrow. Stem cells can also interact with other blood cells to stimulate the immune system and act as powerful anti-inflammatory agents.
Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells
At NYU Langone, we use adult mesenchymal stem cells, which are retrieved from bone marrow or fat tissue, and then concentrated into a solution that is injected directly into damaged tissue. Our experts use these stem cell injections to help treat orthopedic conditions, including the following:
- Achilles tendon injury
- ankle cartilage lesions
- bursitis and tendinitis
- hip impingement syndrome
- hip labral tears
- meniscus tears
- damage to, or fracture of the cartilage of the ankle, knee, or elbow; also called osteochondral injuries
- osteoarthritis of the ankle, hip, knee, and shoulder
- tendinopathies of the ankle, including those of the posterior tibial tendon and the peroneal tendon
Stem Cell Therapy
During a stem cell therapy procedure, your doctor may retrieve stem cells from fat tissue, also called adipose tissue, or your own bone marrow.
To take stem cells from your bone marrow, the doctor thoroughly numbs an area at your pelvic bone and then uses a syringe to extract bone marrow fluid, also known as bone marrow aspirate. The solution is concentrated into a serum that is injected directly in the affected tissue.
Fat tissue is also an abundant supply of stem cells and other factors. Your doctor removes fat tissue from your abdomen after numbing the area or while you are under anesthesia. The stem cells are separated from the fat and then injected into the affected joint or tissue.
After stem cell therapy, your doctor may recommend that you avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications for up to several weeks. Your doctor may also advise you to limit activity while the injury heals.
Depending on your condition or injury, you may experience improved function and pain relief within six weeks. You doctor will explain what to expect after treatment.