FAQ’s on Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapies at GARM
What is Regenerative Medicine with stem cell therapy?
Regenerative Medicine with stem cell therapy is the new paradigm in medicine. In the past, medical treatments were designed to manage symptoms and reduce pain, but not actually fix the problem being treated. Stem cell therapy has the potential to regenerate and repair damaged body tissue such as ligament, tendon, organ tissue, cartilage and bone. Studies have shown that when injury occurs to the body, it often does not heal back to 100%. Regenerative medicine is helping this problem by increasing the healing potential.
The Regenerative Medicine concept is to shift the treatment plan into healing the tissue rather than masking symptoms. Traditional treatments like steroid injections work well for relief, however, they do not offer healing potential. So Regenerative Medicine utilizes stem cell based treatments that offer potential to heal these injuries by providing the body’s building blocks including growth factors and platelets that promote natural healing in the body.
What is a Stem Cell?
Stem cells are made by the body and are a “blank slate”. They can differentiate into specialized cells (tendon, ligament, liver, lung, etc) with cues coming from the milieu in which they are placed. These signals let the stem cells know which differentiation pathway to go down.
This may become a skin cell or cartilage, muscle, bone, tendon, red blood cell and many others. By putting the production of the cells needed to stimulate repair into high gear, an additional supply in the area can provide the difference between a sub-par result and one that regenerates back to normal condition.
What are the different types of Stem Cells?
There are two basic stem cell types. The first is known as unlimited( embryonic stem cells). These can differentiate into any kind of cell, while the second type is called limited (also known as adult or pluripotent stem cells).
With the unlimited type of stem cells, the cells are able to become any human cell type. Limited stem cells, though, do not have the same limitless potential. They need to be either frozen or immediately transplanted into the body.
GARM does not work with embryonic stem cells. At GARM only autologous adult stem cells are used from your own adipose tissue.
Is Regenerative Medicine being used in clinical practice?
Absolutely. Over the past few years, multiple regenerative medicine stem cell treatments have entered clinical practice for pain management, orthopedics, sports medicine, cosmetic procedures, pulmonary, neurologic, cardiac and vascular.
Medical Conditions that may benefit from regenerative medicine procedures at GARM include:
- Tendonitis – Shoulder, Elbow, Hip, Knee, Achilles
- Golfer’s or Tennis Elbow
- Sports Injuries
- Ligament Injuries
- Cartilage Defects
- SI Joint Inflammation or Arthritis
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Failed Back Surgery Syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Diabetic Neuropathy
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Urinary Incontinence
- Spinal Arthritis
- Hip, Knee, Shoulder Arthritis
- Autoimmune disorders – RA, Lupus, etc.
Are Regenerative Medicine procedures approved by the FDA?
No they are not. No statements or treatments on this website have been evaluated or approved by the FDA.
Has research proven the effectiveness of Stem Cells?
There have not been large studies, but quite a few smaller studies showing benefits. There have been small studies presented in peer reviewed, respected journals in both animals and humans showing the effectiveness of several types of regenerative medicine procedures for joint and soft tissue conditions along with systemic issues.
Does Insurance cover Regenerative Medicine procedures?
Insurance does not cover stem cell therapies to date. The treatments are an out of pocket expense.
What types of doctors offer Regenerative Medicine procedures at GARM?
The US Board Certified physicians at GARM offering autologous stem cell injection procedures come from several specialties, including sports medicine, orthopaedic surgery, plastic surgery, neurology, internal medicine and more.