Stem Cell Therapy for Orthopedic Conditions & Sports Injuries
A new form of regenerative medicine, known as stem cell therapy, is available to patients in the Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria and Ventura, California area affected by an orthopedic condition or sports injury. Stem cell injections are clinically proven to aid in the healing of tendon, muscle and ligament injuries, as well as to minimize symptoms in arthritic joints. Dr. Jervis Yau, orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, is actively involved in providing stem cell therapy to patients so they can return to an active, healthy lifestyle more quickly following an injury.
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cells are characterized as basic human cells that have the potential to create new cells in the human body. The new cells are created in healthy tissue and help in the healing process after a patient experiences a bone or soft tissue injury during athletic activities or from constant overuse. Orthopedic specialists are highly interested in a particular form of stem cells known as progenitor cells. Progenitor cells have the potential to help form new tendons, ligaments, bones and articular cartilage.
Stem cell therapy comes in multiple forms. Dr. Yau offers two forms of stem cell therapy: bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) and amniotic fluid-derived stem and progenitor cells (FloGraft®).
Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC)
Dr. Yau extracts a sample of bone marrow from the patient’s own body, typically from the hip area. Once the bone marrow is drawn, it is circulated through a special machine that separates the blood into various parts, including a combination of adult stem cells, platelets and white blood cells. The combination of healing agents is injected directly into the damaged area to promote healing and regeneration. There are minimal side effects from this injection due to using the patient’s own cells and growth factors.
Amniotic Fluid-Derived Stem and Progenitor Cells (FloGraft®)
FloGraft® is a cryopreserved, liquid injectable biologic augmentation of amniotic fluid-derived stem and progenitor cells recovered from a live, healthy c-section birth. Studies have shown a reduction in inflammation and faster healing rates with very low immunogenicity, reducing concerns of donor/host compatibility. Amniotic fluid contains a rich environment full of native nutrients, electrolytes, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, enzymes and hormones. The presence of growth factors provides multiple mechanisms for stimulating tissue healing, cell proliferation, stem cell production and differentiation as well as extracellular matrix remodeling during healing.
What Conditions do Stem Cell Injections Treat?
Stem cell injections are not appropriate for all patients. Dr. Yau commonly recommends this form of regenerative medicine to patients with soft tissue and bone injuries that have not responded to conservative measures, as well as to patients with moderate joint arthritis where a complete collapse of the joint is not present.
Dr. Yau commonly recommends stem cell injections to treat:
- Tendon injuries
- Ligament injuries
- Muscle injuries
- Cartilage injuries
- Joint arthritis
- Non-union fractures
Stem cell therapy offers patients a new way to help the body heal more rapidly after a sports or orthopedic injury. The future of stem cell injections looks very promising as the science behind the regenerative medicine continues to evolve.
If you are interested in learning more about stem cell therapy, or receiving stem cell injections in the Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria and Ventura, California area, please contact Dr. Jervis Yau’s orthopedic office.