If you’re exasperated by longstanding back pain, we have encouraging news! Regenerative medicine may bring relief. Moreover, the remedy is already inside you. At Spine Institute Northwest, we empower your body to heal itself.
Minimally Invasive Method
We employ a minimally invasive approach to resolving back pain, using stem cells. These are cells with the extraordinary capacity to change into other cell types, such as cartilage, ligament, tendon, and bone. They comprise your internal repair system. Stem cells can divide and renew themselves indefinitely. When introduced to a site of injury, they replace damaged cells.
Two categories exist – embryonic and adult. Embryonic are the most versatile since they can change into any type of cell. However, they are taken from a human fetus. For ethical reasons, we do not use them.
Adult stem cells can transform themselves into almost all cell types. They reside in your brain, blood, skeletal muscles, bone marrow, blood vessels, liver, and skin. Since January 2016, 10 stem cell therapies are approved worldwide. The most common form is bone marrow transplantation, with cells harvested from the hip.
Obtaining the cells from your hip is fairly painless. First, your skin and hip bone are numbed with a topical anesthetic. Then, guided by x-ray, we advance a needle through the bone into the bone marrow. Liquid marrow containing the cells is drawn into a syringe. In our lab, a centrifuge machine spins the marrow to separate out the stem cells.
Then, we pinpoint the injured site, using ultrasound or x-ray. Your skin is sterilized and anesthetized with topical solutions. Under imaging guidance, we inject the stem cells at the treatment site.
Now, growth-stimulating proteins will begin repairing damaged tissue, assuming the structure of your local cells. The entire procedure can take from 30 minutes to a few hours. You’ll be able to leave our facility immediately afterward.
Following the procedure, the injection site may feel numb for about an hour. You may also experience some residual soreness or bruising. You can expedite healing by applying ice to the area for 20 minutes every two hours until the tenderness subsides.
The time to notice symptomatic improvement depends on injury severity. Some patients note a positive response after three weeks. As spinal inflammation decreases, significant pain relief may evolve over a period of three months or more.
The number of additional injections depends on the duration and severity of injury. In most patients, only one treatment is required. However, some need up to three injections. We will evaluate your progress every six months, assessing the need for more treatment.
In the case of chronic back pain, regenerative medicine is used for arthritis and disc pathology, including discs that are mildly degenerated, bulging, and herniated. Stem cell therapies can relieve the pain of nerve impingement and sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Ligament injuries can be repaired. Some of our patients with chronic back pain, relief is obtained using regenerative medicine, a minimally invasive procedure.
To heal spinal discs, ligaments, and joints, we utilize Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. In this type of regenerative therapy, platelet cells are removed from a small sample of your blood. Then, they’re injected with stem cells at the treatment site. Platelets contain growth factors that initiate tissue repair and complement the work of stem cells.
After minimally invasive surgery, to expedite wound healing, we use regenerative therapy in the form of MatriStem A-Cell injection. This method prevents the development of scar tissue.
If you’re not a candidate for regenerative therapies, we have several other types of intervention. We look forward to meeting you and discussing your treatment options. Call us at (206) 496-0630 to schedule a consultation.
Never give up hope of recovery! At Spine Institute Northwest, we have the expertise to help.