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Posts Tagged ‘Stem cell

Adult Stem Cell Therapy to Treat Back Pain, Stem Cell, Spine Stem Cells, Stem Cell Treatment

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Adult Stem Cell Therapy that doesn’t require FDA approval to treat lumbar and cervical spine conditions resulting from injury or aging, and is also involved with an FDA clinical trial investigating the use of Adult Stem Cells.

Stem Cell

Stem Cell

These stem cells are autologous – they are taken from an adult patient and returned to that same patient in a concentrated form to the damaged area in a 30-minute procedure. This type of adult stem cell therapy does not require FDA approval to administer.

When it comes to stem cells, there is often a lot of mystique surrounding them.  We hear from the media that we can create a human being out of a bundle of cells, which is not necessarily true.  We also tend to look at embryonic stem cells as being the only type of stem cell.  With these types of embryonic stem cells, one idea is to be able to create a liver or kidney in a Petri dish, which is not controllable or feasible at this point, and the work being done by the BecomePainFree.com medical group.

When we look at stem cell types, we have embryonic stem cells on one hand and adult stem cells on the other.  The characteristics of each of these are not like other cells.  For instance, a liver cell can divide but it will only ever be a liver cell.  These stem cells, both embryonic and adult, can turn into different types of cells.  The embryonic stem cells can really turn into any cell type, but adult stem cells are limited as far as the cells they can turn into.  This depends upon environment or niche and what they are already programmed to become.  A lot of people think there is a lot of promise with embryonic stem cells and there is, although we are not quite there yet.

We are still at the forefront of stem cell technology and embryonic stem cells in particular. With those cells, we do not have the ability to control what types of tissue they turn into. For example, we could be trying to manipulate these cells to turn into kidneys, but they might start to develop as pancreatic cells, which is troublesome.  Another key with all stem cells is that they can proliferate quite a bit, usually at a higher rate than just a regular somatic cell.  Although this sounds good at first glance, the issue with this, particularly with embryonic stem cells, is we cannot control that division.  Hence, these cells can keep going and going without dying.  In the normal bodily process, cells are programmed to die after a certain time, but these embryonic stem cells can evade that action and continue dividing, which takes on the characteristic of cancer cells.  In some animal studies, an issue that keeps arising is development of tumors in some of these animals. It is difficult to predict if tumors are going to form when using some sort of embryonic stem cell treatment.  This is still a scary area through which we are still trying to navigate.

However, the focus of the BecomePainFree.com medical group is on adult mesenchymal stem cells. On the whole, the media does not give a lot of attention to these kinds of stem cells, as using them avoids any kind of ethical or controversial issues. There is a great amount of research being done on adult mesenchymal stem cells, however, because they are very powerful.

First off, we can control what cell type they turn into much more easily.  For example, the treatment used by the BecomePainFree.com medical group focuses on Mesenchymal precursor cells (MPC).  Mesenchymal means these cells are not going to turn into any kind of blood product such as a red blood cell or white blood cell, although they are derived from bone marrow.  The fact that they are precursor cells means these MPCs are only going to differentiate into one of a few cell types.  They are either going to become bone cells, i.e., osteoblasts, or chondrocytes, i.e., cartilaginous tissue such that we see in intervertebral discs and joints, etc.  All of that really depends on the environment in which we place these adult stem cells where it is well suited to do this.  For example, we can inject these MPCs into a bone fracture, and because the cells are surrounded by bone tissue, these cells will receive signals from the surrounding cells that tell them to turn into bone. However, the cells we use will be injected into a disc or joint, and the cells composing the disc and joint tissue will signal the stem cells to develop into similar tissue.  Again, there is no chance of any sort of pancreatic cell or nerve cell type spontaneously forming because we are using certain adult stem cell types, which are limited and cannot turn into anything like that.  In addition, as the tissue surrounding the disc and joint is relatively avascular, there is not really any worry of these cells migrating through the blood stream to somewhere else in the body and causing any sort of problem.  As far as the proliferation issue with embryonic stem cells, we have not seen this issue with adult stem cells in terms of dividing exponentially without ceasing.  There is almost a preset limit to how many times these adult stem cells will divide.

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Stem Cell Therapy for Spinal Disc for Spine Issues, Advances in Regenerative Medicine, PRP

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With advances in Regenerative Medicine we can now offer patients the option of injecting regenerative agents such as PRP and stem cells into a damaged disc area. This includes disc annular tears, disc bulges/protrusions and disc herniations. In some cases this can help a patient avoid bigger spinal surgeries such as spinal fusion surgery. In cases where the disc herniation is very large or the disc is very damaged we offer the option of minimally invasive spinal decompression and repair and combine that procedure with either PRP or stem cells. The effect is often synergistic and in many cases very powerful. We are now at a stage where we can offer patients alternatives to spinal surgery or back surgery.

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The downside of traditional spine surgery is that you often loss range of motion after surgery or create a substantial amount of scar tissue. This does not happen when we use regenerative treatments to treat disc problems either in the lumbar or cervical region. Also with a traditional spinal fusion surgery even if the disc problem is treated successfully it often places increased stress on the disc either below or above the level of surgery or fusion. In the future this can cause that disc to degenerate and even lead to a disc herniation.

Finally, with the advancement in regenerative medicine our group can offer patients alternatives to back surgery and spinal surgery.

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Back Pain, Pain, Spine Surgery, Kyphoplasty Surgery Procedure

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  1. During a kyphoplasty surgery, a small incision is made in the back in the spinal area through which the doctor places a very narrow tube. Using fluoroscopy to guide it to the correct position, the tube creates a path through the back into the fractured area through the pedicle of the involved vertebrae.
  2. Using the X-ray images, the doctor inserts a very special medical balloon through the tube and into the vertebrae area, and then gently and carefully inflates it slowly. As the balloon inflates slowly, it elevates the fracture, returning the pieces to a more normal position. It also compacts the soft inner bone to create a cavity inside the vertebrae.
  3. The balloon then is removed and the doctor uses specially designed instruments under low pressure to fill the cavity with a cement-like material called polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). After being injected, the pasty material hardens quickly, stabilizing the bone.
same as Image:Gray 111 - Vertebral column.png ...

same as Image:Gray 111 – Vertebral column.png but coloured (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kyphoplasty surgery to treat a fracture from osteoporosis is performed at a hospital under local or general anesthesia. Other possible logistics for a typical kyphoplasty procedure are:

  • The kyphoplasty procedure takes about one hour for each vertebra involved in the surgery
  • Patients will be observed closely in the recovery room immediately following the kyphoplasty procedure
  • Patients may sometimes spend one day in the hospital after the kyphoplasty procedure

 

Patients should not drive until their doctor gives them approval. If they are released the day of the kyphoplasty surgery, they will need to arrange for transportation home from the hospital they should never drive home.

Recovery from Kyphoplasty

Pain relief may be immediate for some patients. In others, elimination or reduction of pain is reported within a few days. At home, patients can and should return to their normal daily activities, although strenuous exertion, such as heavy lifting, should be avoided for at least six weeks.

 

Candidates for Kyphoplasty

Kyphoplasty cannot correct an established deformity of the spine, and certain patients with osteoporosis are not candidates for this treatment. Patients experiencing painful symptoms or spinal deformities from recent osteoporotic compression fractures are likely candidates for kyphoplasty. The procedure should be completed within 8 weeks of when the fracture occurs for the highest probability of restoring height.

Risks and Complications of Kyphoplasty

Some general surgical risks apply to kyphoplasty, including a reaction to anesthesia and infection. Other risks that are specific to the kyphoplasty procedure and vertebroplasty include:

  • Nerve damage or a spinal cord injury from malposition instruments placed in the back
  • Nerve injury or spinal cord compression from leaking of the PMMA into veins or epidural space
  • Allergic reaction to the solution used to see the balloon on the x-ray image as it inflates

Balloon Kyphoplasty

It is not known whether kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty will increase the number of fractures at adjacent levels of the spine. Bench studies on treated bone have shown that inserting PMMA does not change the stiffness of the bone, but human studies have not been done. Osteoporosis is a chronic, progressive disease. As stated earlier, patients who have sustained fractures from osteoporosis are at an increased risk for additional fractures due to the loss of bone strength caused by osteoporosis.

To inquire if your health condition will qualify for this procedure please visit http://www.becomepainfree.com

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