For the better part of the past century, nonoperative treatment for painful joints and soft tissue hasn’t changed very much. Options have included the typical “band aid” treatments that may briefly reduce pain, but didn’t actually repair any tissue damage.
These choices have included:
Stem cells are located throughout our bodies. These cells are extremely useful because they can duplicate, change and become other types of cells. Also called mesenchymal stem cells, they are basically “all purpose cells” that are ready to accomodate the needs of our bodies–holding the potential to repair or replenish tissues, our bodies are not able to send the necessary amount of stem cells to an area in need of repair–such as joint, or connective tissue–as we once could have when younger.
Let’s look at stem cell therapy as a-non-surgical option for joint and soft tissue. Here’s how it works.
Atlanta Innovative Medicine offers adipose stem cell therapy performed by our Medical Director and renowned regenerative medicine physician, Farhan Malik, MD.
The patient first undergoes a minimally invasive liposuction. Approximately 60 cc’s of fat is removed from the patient, which comes from either the abdominal region or buttock area. The fat extraction process takes about 30 minutes and entails only mild discomfort. Only a small 60 cc’s is retrieved in fat removal. The patient’s adipose tissue has an amazing amount of stem cells throughout, the number resulting is between 30 and 60 million.
In addition to having a large amount of useful stem cells, there are also a substantial amount of additional regenerative elements.
This includes the following components:
Once the fat is removed, Dr. Malik will then prepare the adipose tissue at the bedside with a kit that is not only FDA compliant, but extremely efficient at concentrating the growth factors, stem cells, cytokines and exosomes. The result is a preparation that can be referred to as a “virtual orchestra” of regenerative elements. Some providers have been known to fondly call it “Liquid Gold”.
After the processing of the adipose tissue is complete, the stem cell doctors at Atlanta Innovative Medicine will perform the injection into the painful joint and/or soft tissue area using guided imaging. The entire process is completed in one day. The injection process itself is typically done in one hour.
At Atlanta Innovative Medicine of Georgia, our experts recommend adipose stem cell therapy as opposed to bone marrow tissue for rejuvenation treatments. We find that it is the superior option for treating joint and soft tissue pain. Our patients’ results and several large-scale studies support this conclusion as well.
The top 5 benefits of adipose-derived stem cells include:
Unfortunately, the concentration of stem cells in bone marrow tissue decreases as patients age (Dufrance et al. 2017). In fact, the amount of stem cells present in bone marrow typically drops over a hundredfold by the time a person turns 50 years old.
However, the volume of stem cells in adipose can be found in high concentrations, no matter how old a patient is. Adipose tissue contains millions of stem cells in every single cc that is harvested. Instead of looking for a needle in a bone marrow haystack, our medical team can have easy access to an abundance of stem cells in adipose tissue.
When using bone marrow tissue, the concentration of stem cells is just one issue to contend with. Bone marrow stem cells also become less active with age. This means that they may not effectively respond to your damaged joint and spur regeneration.
Once again, the stem cells in adipose tissue are the ideal option. The cells derived from adipose tissue maintain substantial proliferation and regenerative capabilities. Put simply, they are able to turn into the cells that your body needs for regeneration.
According to one major study, bone marrow aspiration produced significant procedural pain in 86% of patients (JPSM 2003). For some, the pain of this procedure can last for weeks or even months. Patients are essentially swapping one symptom for another.
In comparison, adipose harvesting is tolerated well by the vast majority of patients. It can be performed at our Atlanta-area clinic, making the procedure convenient. In addition, the use of a local anesthetic results in minimal discomfort.
Many Atlanta, GA, patients who are struggling with joint pain and inflammation experience these conditions in several parts of their body. Fortunately, adipose stem cell therapy can be applied to multiple joints in a single session.
A single harvest of adipose tissue will produce a higher “yield” of stem cells than bone marrow. This then allows our doctors the ability to administer a dosage of stem cells to multiple locations of pain. Bone marrow typically will not produce enough stem cells to treat more than one joint or area of pain.
Autologous adipose stem cell therapy has consistently provided outstanding patient outcomes when it is used to treat chronic joint pain (Regen Med 2019). Adipose harvesting is also a great treatment option for aesthetic procedures such as:
As part of our commitment to provide patients with the best outcomes possible, Atlanta Innovative Medicine only uses autologous adipose procedures for stem cell harvesting.
Adipose-derived stem cells are more active, found in higher concentrations, and produce great results. In addition, the harvesting procedure is far less invasive and causes only mild discomfort. Based on these factors and others, adipose stem cells are the ideal option for regenerative therapy.
If you are interested in speaking with one of our stem cell treatment doctors, or to schedule an appointment, please call our Atlanta-area clinic today at 770.416.9995.
Autologous adipose stem cell therapy is very safe. With any minimally invasive procedure, there is a rare potential for an infection or other minor adverse event. Our experienced team of doctors and nurses work to ensure each patient’s treatment is performed with precision and care.
No allergic reaction should occur from this type of procedure, as one’s own tissue is being used. The only potential allergy could be to the numbing medicine, which is very rare. No preservatives, reagents or enzymes are used during the treatment either.
The risk is extremely low. Considering these are stem cells extracted from your own body, the DNA is an exact match. No immunologic reaction at all should be generated. However, there have been rare occurrences of adverse events reported, including infection, bleeding, nerve injury, and allergic reaction.
There is no scientific evidence to show this occurs at all. Adipose tissue contains many millions of mesenchymal stem cells, which are very helpful in facilitating repair of damaged joint tissue.
Thankfully, we have many studies showing that adult mesenchymal stem cells are non-tumorigenic. This means they do not cause or exacerbate any tumor formation.
When it comes to joint pain relief with autologous adipose stem cell procedures, recent studies have shown substantial relief at both six months and twelve months in study follow-up. (Stem Cell Translational Med 2019) (Regen Med 2019).
However, each patient and their body’s reaction are different. In our experience at Atlanta Innovative Medicine, over 80% of patients report that significant pain relief is experienced within weeks after a procedure.
The Atlanta stem cell doctors at AIM have been performing adipose treatment with exceptional results for years. On average, most patients start to experience noticeable relief within two to four weeks.
Once relief of pain begins to take effect, AIM patients typically notice a measurable increase for several months along with functional improvements. This can include noticing less pain in the morning, the ability to walk farther and to play recreational activities again.
On average, the pain relief lasts for well over a year, and in many patients, the relief can last several years. The Atlanta adipose stem cell therapy techniques employed by AIM have been a game changer in that regard, as steroid injection relief usually fades within just a few weeks.
Yes, adipose-derived stem cells have a high success rate. The procedure is generally tolerated very well by patients, with a complication rate of less than 0.1%.
In terms of joint pain relief, several recent studies have followed up with patients 6 and 12 months after treatment. During these follow-ups, most patients reported excellent relief (Stem Cell Translational Med 2019). However, every patient is completely unique.
Certain conditions typically respond well to a single adipose-derived stem cell injection. This includes sports-related injuries and other acute ailments.
However, patients that are seeking relief from chronic arthritic conditions will likely need a series of injections to achieve optimal results. In addition, they may need supplemental injections approximately a year after treatment.
Every patient has unique needs based on their condition. Atlanta Innovative Medicine provides each patient with a personalized treatment care plan so that they can achieve optimal results.
Adipose-derived stem cell treatments are minimally invasive, and most of our Atlanta patients feel fine after a therapy session. Still, we recommend that patients have someone else drive them home. This is because a small percentage of patients experience a bit of discomfort and lightheadedness immediately following stem cell treatment.
We also get asked about flying after stem cell therapy because many patients are not from the Atlanta area. It is perfectly safe to board a plane after stem cell therapy.
Journal Cosmetic & Laser 2018
Regen Med 2019
Stem Cell Translational Med 2019
Current Stem Cell Research Therapy 2017
Disclaimer: Neither Atlanta Innovative Medicine nor its physician affiliates promise autologous stem cell therapy as a cure for any condition, disease, or injury. Individual results will vary and are not guaranteed.
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