What Are Stem Cells?

Your first stem cells are formed at conception. They are called totipotent because they give rise to all the cells in the body including the placenta and amniotic sac. In the embryonic and fetal stages, we have pluripotent stem cells that give rise to all the cells of the body.

As we mature so do the stem cells, and they lose the potential to develop into as broad a range of cell types. As adults, many of our stem cells are multipotent. These cells are more limited in the types of cells into which they can develop.

The multipotent stem cells we are most interested in for repair and regeneration are known as mesenchymal stem cells. These multipotent stem cells can divide into a variety of important cells including cartilage, ligaments, tendons, bone, muscle and fat. Robust reservoirs for these cells are in bone marrow.

In application, these multipotent mesenchymal stem cells are first harvested and isolated, then they are injected into, for example, the knee for a meniscus or cartilage disorder. With cellular division they reproduce themselves and produce meniscus or cartilage generating cells (chondroblasts). The chondroblasts facilitate repair and regeneration in someone with, for example, osteoarthritis or other acute or chronic knee abnormality.

Regenesis’ stem cell therapy for musculoskeletal and other conditions include the following:

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis

Knee problems
collateral ligament sprains, meniscus tears, cruciate ligament tears, baker’s cyst, and especially arthritis

Shoulder problems
rotator cuff and labrum tears, tendinopathy, impingement syndromes, bursitis and severe arthritis

Hip disorders
bursitis, early aseptic necrosis, and arthritis

Ankle and foot injuries
plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis and arthritis

Elbow and wrist problems
Tennis, and Golfers elbow as well as arthritis

Bone problems
non-fusion, fractures

Muscle and tendon injuries
pulled hamstring, bicep, pectoralis, etc.

Neck and back pain

Migraine and cluster headaches

In cases where stem cell therapy is the best option, Dr. Lee may begin the procedure with mild sedation. The bone marrow aspiration is performed using local anesthesia. The stem cells are then isolated in the lab and removed from the collected sample. The processing takes about two and a half hours for the isolation, compared to 20 minutes in a bedside centrifuge that some doc’s call a “stem cell therapy”. These bedside concentration procedures do not meet standards and can not be counted due to cellular debris and trash. Dr. Lee will give you a print out of your stem cell yield, which is your dose of stem cells. 400 million is the minimal accepted dose, however, we typically obtain many more than the minimum due to a supplement regimen initiated prior to the procedure.

Fetal, amniotic and placental stem cell products currently being promoted by rogue companies are illegal drugs that have no safety testing and potentially contain primitive pluripotent stem cells. They may be totally ineffective or worse, they can conceivably cause cancer. In December of 2017, the FDA’s final guidance on stem cells made clear that enforcement is pending on both the companies and physicians involved.

What is Platelet Rich Plasma?

Platelet Rich Plasma is a portion of a patient’s own plasma after removing the red blood cells which has a concentrated level of platelets. These platelets promote healing by releasing an abundance of growth factors to stimulate healing in injuries of tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints and recruit stem cells to become active in the area. Several clinical studies have proven that even stand alone PRP injections into, but not limited to the elbow, wrist, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle will improve function and mobility as well as decrease pain.

The stem cells and PRP are injected into the affected area. While it takes about three to six months for the injured tissue to fully repair themselves, pain relief may begin much sooner!

Dr. Charles Lee applies his skills in anti-aging, aesthetics and regenerative medicine to enhance his patients’ quality of life. He has specialized training and credentialing in stem cell harvesting, isolation and orthopedic injections. Begin your journey to “Feel Better and Look Better”.