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    Corey WoottonChicago Bears and Detroit Lions

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    Sylvia Fowles WNBA Finals MVP, 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist

  • Left Double QuoteThank you for all that you have done for me and the team. My hip feels so much better, and because of you I'm pain free.Right Double Quote

    Sylvia Fowles WNBA Finals MVP, 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist

  • Left Double QuoteThank you for all that you have done for me and the team. My hip feels so much better, and because of you I'm pain free.Right Double Quote

    Sylvia Fowles WNBA Finals MVP, 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist

What Are Stem Cell Injections and How Do They Work?

What Are Stem Cell Injections and How Do They Work?
What Are Stem Cell Injections and How Do They Work?

 

The science and technology behind stem cell injections continues to advance, with research further demonstrating their potential in treating musculoskeletal conditions without surgery. These developments make the treatment increasingly popular and promising for patients seeking alternative procedures for their health conditions. 

If you are an adult with arthritis or an athlete who recently sustained a soft tissue injury, you may be considering receiving treatment. By now, you may already know how stem cell therapies can alleviate your pain while helping you delay or avoid the need for invasive surgeries.

But as promising as stem cell injections are, it’s worth noting that scientists and health experts still have a lot to learn about them. There are also only a few stem cell treatment procedures deemed safe and effective based on clinical trials. This is why it is important to research stem cell treatment centers for reputability before considering this type of treatment. 

To help you understand stem cell injections and their potential benefits and limitations alike, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions, from where stem cells come from and how much they cost to how long stem cell injections last.   

What Are Stem Cell Injections? 

Before we look into what stem cell injections are, it helps to understand what stem cells are in the first place. 

Sometimes referred to as the body’s “master cells,” stem cells are special cells that can develop or differentiate into other cells. As such, they can repair, rebuild or replace damaged or dysfunctional cells and tissues in the human body.  

Stem cells come from the following three sources: 

  • Bone marrow - To harvest stem cells from the bone marrow, the patient or donor is first put under a general anesthetic. Then, a needle will be inserted into an area of the pelvic bone, followed by a special syringe that aspirates the bone marrow. The sample will be sent to the laboratory to extract a concentrated stem cell sample. 
  • Peripheral stem cells - The patient or donor receives several shots that release stem cells into the blood. Blood will then be removed from the body to capture and extract the stem cells. After the procedure, doctors will return the blood to the body.
  • Umbilical cord blood - The umbilical cord blood is loaded with stem cells which can be harvested after delivery. This brings no harm to the baby. 

If you’re wondering how stem cell therapies work, here are the fundamental steps involved in the process: 

  1. The procedure begins with harvesting the stem cells, usually from the patient’s own bone marrow. Otherwise, they can be sourced from adipose tissues (fat cells) or birth tissues (e.g., placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic fluid). 

  2. The harvested stem cells will be processed in a centrifuge. 

  3. Once done, they will now be administered into the area to be treated. Your doctor may use special x-rays to inject the stem cells accurately into the proper region. 

  4. The whole process will most likely take less than an hour, and you may go home on the same day.

How Much Do Stem Cell Injections Cost?   

Before answering this question, it’s worth mentioning that many factors will influence the cost of stem cell therapy, such as the following: 

  • The type of stem cells administered 
  • How the stem cells were sourced and processed;
  • Where the laboratory processing the stem cells is located 
  • What kind of injury or disease is being treated 
  • Where the injection is being administered

Since stem cell treatment procedures are heavily affected by the availability of stem cells and equipment, treatment costs can go as high as $100,000.

Do Stem Cell Injections Work? 

Stem cell injections have the potential to cure diseases that still have few to no effective treatments up to now. In addition, they can promote natural healing, enhance tissue regeneration and treat severe injuries. An added advantage is that it doesn't bring risks of complications associated with invasive surgeries, allowing you to return to your routine the next day.    

So, do stem cell injections work? The quick answer is yes ⁠— they have the potential to bring desirable results. However, stem cell therapies come with certain risks. Like most treatment procedures, they bring possible complications such as increased pain or infection at the injection site, tissue damage and injury to surrounding nerves. 

Of course, getting your stem cell therapy from unscrupulous providers will magnify these risks. Undergoing unproven treatments can also: 

  • Cause adverse reactions in the injection site 
  • Promote the growth of tumors 

This is why it’s crucial to be wary of procedures performed without regulatory approval or legitimate clinical trials. For the best results, it’s best to get your stem cell treatment from a highly skilled and reputable medical provider. 

How Long Do Stem Cell Injections Last? 

Once your stem cell treatment is complete, the stem cells injected into the treated area will continue working for a year, promoting the growth of new, healthy cells there. However, this does not necessarily mean that you won’t see results or experience relief until after a year. Most patients notice improvements within a few weeks after their procedure, while others take more time. 

With this, keep in mind that your stem cell therapy’s results depend on various factors, such as where you’re receiving the injection and what health condition you’re treating. Diligently attending post-procedure appointments and physical therapy also helps your stem cell injection work more effectively and give you long-lasting relief. 

At Chicago Stem Cell Therapy & Regenerative Medicine, we’re committed to offering safe and innovative stem cell therapies to restore your body to optimal health. If you want to learn more about our regenerative procedures, don’t hesitate to contact us or explore our library of resources.

  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • The Arthroscopy Association of North America
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • International Society for Hip Arthroscopy
  • The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons