About Stem Cell Wrist Therapy
The cells of the body that can modify their function are referred to as stem cells. These cells then regenerate and can assist in treating diseases or injuries by replacing damaged tissue. As the hands are such vital instruments in our daily lives, conditions affecting the wrist can be rather debilitating and life-altering. Stem cell therapy can reduce these effects on your livelihood.
This stem cell therapy is incredibly effective for damaged joints, ligaments, muscles, cartilage, or tendons, and gives the body a tool to continue to heal itself by using non-controversial adult stem cells, donated from the patient’s own fat stores. This procedure is organic because the stem cells that are used come for your own body.
The board-certified physicians at Dr. Stem Cell perform stem cell therapy on any damaged areas of the wrist or hand. The method of stem cell therapy by Dr. Bruce Fishman or Dr. Sean Younai uses donated adipose-derived stem cells from the patient, which are then transferred to the afflicted area to allow the body to repair its blood vessels, ligaments, tendons, muscles, bone, and other damaged tissues.
Stem cell therapy is a way for patients to alleviate pain and reduce damage with a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure. It may even increase joint mobility and function. Stem cell therapy is a regenerative process that allows the donated adipose-derived stem cells to transform into new cells of the wrist and continue to multiply. In other words, these cells create healthy tissue and simultaneously restore damaged tissue. This process treated the underlying cause and repairs destroyed tissues that have been affected by disease or injury, rather than place a “band-aid” on the problems at hand or require surgery. An added benefit of stem cell wrist therapy is the typical lack of recovery time: very little, to no time at all.
Stem cell therapy is a low-risk procedure, with no risk of rejection since the cells are harvested from your own body. It is a great alternative to surgery or life-long medication treatment, such as pain treatments with steroids, opioids, or NSAIDs. There is no risk of allergic reaction, unless you are allergic to the topical anesthetic applied to the treatment and liposuction site. The minimally invasive stem cell therapy is a natural solution to a lifelong problem.
Stem cell therapy of the wrist can be beneficial to many patients suffering from damage or pain relating to strenuous activities, prior surgery, or injury. Both athletes and typists alike put strain on the ligaments in the wrist, leading to lifelong ailments and pain. As technology use increases in our everyday lives, as does recurring issues of the wrist and hand. Stem cell therapy can regenerate the tissues of the wrist, reducing the damages associated with these activities, as well as problems created by degenerative disease or physical activity.
An ideal candidate for stem cell therapy of the wrist may suffer from diseases such as:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Ligament Injuries
However, patients who are currently suffering from an active infection, uncontrolled cancer, or bleeding disorders should avoid stem cell therapy, as should patients who do not have realistic expectations or who suffer from severe mental disorder.
Ideal candidates for stem cell wrist therapy must have a natural store of fat to obtain the required adult stem cells for injection. You may contact The Stem Cell Institute of Los Angeles to see if you qualify for a consultation, where Dr. Bruce Fishman or Dr. Sean Younai will address any concerns associated with stem cell therapy treatment or its results.
Wrist Injuries Treated with Stem Cell Therapy
Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease. This occurs when the cartilage that covers the top of the bones, known as articular cartilage, degenerates or wears down. This causes swelling, joint pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. Damage from mechanical stress without sufficient self-repair by joints is said to be one of primary causes of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis most often occurs in people who are over 50. In younger people, osteoarthritis can result from an injury or trauma such as a fractured or dislocated joint. Rarely, osteoarthritis may also be hereditary.
Osteoarthritis of the wrist is mostly seen as a post traumatic condition. There are different types of posttraumatic arthritis. Scapholunate advanced collapse (SLAC) is the most common form, followed by scaphoid nonunion advanced collapse (SNAC). Other post traumatic causes such as intra-articular factors of the distal radius or ulna can also lead to wrist osteoarthritis.
The most common initial symptom of wrist osteoarthritis is joint pain. This pain is brought on by activity and increases when there is activity after resting. Other signs and symptoms affected by osteoarthritis include morning stiffness, swelling, crepitus (crackling), joint locking, and joint instability. These symptoms can lead to loss of function of the wrist and hand and less daily activity capabilities.
A ligament is the tissue which attaches bone to bone and holds them in position to perform all of the necessary functions. Injuries to the scapholunate ligament, triangular fibrocartilage complex, and ulnocarpal ligaments always disrupt normal function of the wrist and can lead to post traumatic degenerative arthritis (see section on wrist osteoarthritis).
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term autoimmune disorder that primarily affects the joints. It commonly results in heated, swollen, and painful joints. Although most commonly, the wrist and hand are involved, the disease also affects other parts and joints of the body.
Although the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not completely clear, it involves a combination of environmental and hereditary factors. The underlying mechanism involves the body’s immune system attacking joints. This affects the underlying bone and cartilage. The diagnosis is primarily based on the person’s signs and symptoms, with the assistance of x-rays and laboratory testing. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, decrease inflammation, and improve the individual’s overall functioning. This is assisted by balancing rest and exercise, uses of splints, braces, or assistive devices, and use of various medications, including steroids, NSAIDs, or the use of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs to slow the progression of disease.
RA typically presents with signs of inflammation with the affected joints being swollen, warm, painful and stiff, particularly early in the morning upon awakening, or following prolonged activity.
RA symptoms most commonly affect the smaller joints of the wrists and hands. RA inflammation causes wrist swelling and allows the fluid into the joint cavities, causing puffiness and stiffness of the wrist and hand.
Increased stiffness in the morning is a prominent feature of this disease, and will typically last for more than an hour. As the pathology progresses, the inflammation may lead to tendon tethering with erosion, leading to the destruction of the joint surface. This ultimately impairs range of movement and can lead to deformity. RA also can involve the skin, lungs, kidneys, heart and vessels, as well as multiple other body systems. RA reduces lifespan an average from 3 to 12 years, but a positive response to treatment may indicate a better prognosis.
TENDONITIS / TENDINOSIS
Tendinosis, however, is a chronic injury caused by an accumulation of small tears in the tendon that have failed to heal properly over time. Patients commonly find it almost impossible to keep from restraining the tendon, because even when the pain is gone, the tendon still hasn’t fully healed.
Tendinitis refers to inflammation of a tendon, a flexible band of tissue that connects the muscles to the bones. The pull of the muscles is transmitted to the bone by the tendons which allow movement. When the tendons are inflamed and irritated, the pulling action of the muscle is impaired with loss of function of the joint. Symptoms can vary from mild aches, pains, and local joint stiffness, to a burning sensation around the inflamed tendon and the surrounding joint. In some cases, swelling occurs along alongside redness and the heating sensation. Depending on the patient’s case, there may be visible knots around the joint. With this condition, the pain is usually heightened during and after activity, and a tendon and joint area can become stiff the following day, as muscles tighten from the movement of the tendon.
Tendinitis injuries are particularly common in the upper extremity, including the wrist. Individual variation in frequency and severity of tendinitis will vary depending on the type, frequency and severity of the exercise or use; for example, rock climbers, mechanics, plumbers, and gymnasts tend to develop tendinitis in the wrist and fingers.
How to Treat the Wrists with Stem Cells
Liposuction is performed on the flanks to retrieve adipose tissue. This graft is then placed in a centrifuge to separate and retrieve the stem cells from the stromal vascular fraction. The harvested adult adipose derived stem cells are then meticulously injected into the wrist joint under guidance of fluoroscopic x-ray, utilizing local anesthesia. Once it is inside the wrist joint, the stem cells have the ability to repair the cartilage in numerous ways. Stem cells secrete many different soluble factors which transform the tissue microenvironment in ways such as:
- Controlling joint inflammation.
- Growth factors which stimulate repair of cartilage.
- Stem cells can differentiate into cartilage cell lines.
Consultation and Cost
An initial consultation with Dr. Younai or Dr. Fishman is necessary to determine candidacy. It is at this meeting that patients will explain the pain or irritation they are experiencing in their wrist. An examination will then be performed and the doctor will determine if stem cell wrist therapy will be a beneficial procedure. At the end of the consultation we will be able to provide a custom quote based on the patient specifics.