An Overview on Stem Cell Joint Injections
Repeated wear and tear during normal activities, work-related activities and sports activities causes extreme stress to the major joints throughout the human body. The repeated stress and joint use can lead to a number of injuries, such as ligament, tendon and cartilage injuries. Dr. Nikhil Verma, knee surgeon and shoulder specialist, offers stem cell joint injections to patients living in the Chicago, Westchester, Oak Brook and Hinsdale, Illinois area. Stem cell therapy is gaining popularity and is a safe and effective biologic treatment designed to accelerate healing and regeneration after a joint injury.
What to Know About Stem Cell Therapy
Adult stem cells, otherwise known as autologous stem cells, are found throughout the human body and have the natural ability to accelerate the body’s healing response. Adult stem cells are harvested from the patient’s own body so use of the controversial embryonic or fetal cells is not necessary. Utilizing a patient’s own “pluripotent” adult stem cells reduces the risk of infection, tissue rejection and disease transmission.
During stem cell therapy, a patient’s own bone marrow is harvested by Dr. Verma, typically from the hip area. The sample of bone marrow is then spun in a special machine, known as a centrifuge, to separate the platelets, white blood cells and adult stem cells from the red blood cells. Once the three healing agents are separated, they are combined and placed in a stem cell injection. Dr. Verma then injects the stem cell joint injection directly into the injured area to regenerate tissue and accelerate healing.
If you would like to see the leading research on the outcomes of biologic/regenerative treatments, please visit our research library.
How Much Is Stem Cell Therapy?
In patients who have exhausted all conservative treatment options, Dr. Verma may recommend stem cell therapy to promote healing and symptom reduction of the injured soft tissue or bone. A single stem cell therapy with Dr. Verma is $3,000. Since stem cell therapy is still considered experimental, insurance does not cover the procedure. All procedures require cash payment.
Stem Cell Joint Injections in Orthopedic Medicine
Stem cell joint injections are gaining popularity in orthopedic medicine because of their natural healing ability. Autologous stem cell therapy is commonly used by Dr. Verma to treat:
- Cartilage injuries
- Bone fractures
- Ligament injuries
- Tendon injuries
It is important to note stem cell joint injections are not appropriate for all patients. Dr. Verma recommends stem cell therapy to patients with soft tissue and bone injuries, as well as patients with moderate osteoarthritis where a complete collapse of the joint is not present. Current research is ongoing at Rush and other institutions to determine appropriate indications and expected outcomes with stem cell treatment.
Have a question about biologic treatment? Dr. Verma answers frequently asked questions.
For additional resources on stem cell therapy, or to discuss if you are a candidate for stem cell joint injections, please contact Dr. Nikhil Verma, knee surgeon and shoulder specialist serving the communities of Chicago, Westchester, Oak Brook and Hinsdale, Illinois.
Biologic Therapies FAQ
- How do Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) stem cells accelerate the healing process?
- Are Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) stem cells considered regenerative therapies?
- Are all Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) stem cell therapies the same?
- Is there an age limit for Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) regenerative therapy?
- Why is Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) sometimes called a stem cell “like” therapy?
- Why doesn’t my insurance cover this treatment?