How Stem Cells Are Used in Orthopaedics

If you’ve ever cut yourself or broken a bone, you’ve seen your ability to self-heal first hand. That’s the concept behind regenerative medicine: using cells involved in the healing process to treat injuries.

At Tadje Orthopaedics, Dr. Jared Tadje offers stem cell therapy at his state-of-the-art clinic in Meridian, Idaho. He shared these insights into how stem cells work and their value in  orthopaedic medicine.

Stem cell basics

You have nearly 200 different types of cells in your body, and each one has its own shape, size, job, and lifespan. What sets a stem cell apart is its ability to produce other types of cells, including those more specialized and complex. This unique ability means stem cells can create healthy, new tissue where old cells have died, and they can repair cells damaged by injury or disease.

The field of regenerative medicine harnesses the power of stem cells by concentrating them into a therapeutic injection. Then, it gets delivered directly into areas of the body with damage or disease to activate and support the healing process.

Stem cell therapy and orthopaedic medicine

You can find stem cells in numerous tissue types, including bone marrow, fat, and amniotic tissue. Dr. Tadje typically prepares his stem cell treatments from cells harvested from bone marrow in his patients. However, he can use an amniotic source if preferred.

New stem cell therapy treatments are constantly underway, but uses in orthopaedics currently include:

When injected into your pain site, stem cells can ease your discomfort, increase your mobility and range of motion, and expedite your recovery. Plus, it can often reduce your need for pain medications and more invasive treatments, like joint replacement surgery.

Stem cell therapy is also safe to use in combination with other treatments, such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, prolotherapy, and physical therapy.

What to expect from stem cell therapy

Dr. Tadje performs stem cell treatments as an outpatient procedure using local anesthetics to keep you comfortable. 

First, Dr. Tadje withdraws a small amount of your bone marrow, often from your hip. This fluid is spun and concentrated in a special machine called a centrifuge. Stem cells can be also removed from a patient’s adipose tissue using a needle, or they can be purchased and delivered to the clinic.

Dr. Tadje then injects the stem cells directly into the area causing your pain.

After your injection, you can go home and wait for the healing process to get underway. It’s common to have mild tenderness at the extraction and treatment sites, but Dr. Tadje can offer personalized recommendations to manage your symptoms. 

Since stem cell therapy involves cell regeneration, it can take some time to see a significant improvement in your symptoms. Some people report marked improvement within a few days, but others see changes within a few weeks. For most, the entire process takes about 28 days.

Depending on your orthopaedic condition, Dr. Tadje could recommend a series of stem cell therapy treatments for maximum results. Unfortunately, insurance typically doesn’t cover this innovative treatment. However, its use in orthopaedic medicine shows very promising results that can make the extra cost worthwhile.

Ready to see how stem cell therapy can help you? Contact Tadje Orthopaedics to schedule an appointment by calling 208-231-7851 or book a visit online today.

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