How does Stem Cell Therapy work? At Nashville Regenerative Orthopedics, we are a leader in stem cell therapy in Nashville and we get this question from potential patients all the time. Most people have heard of stem cell therapy or PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) therapy and know that it’s one of the best alternatives to orthopedic surgery, but many people still don’t understand how it works.
Stem Cells are the Repairmen as well as the General Contractors
Stem cells are busy organisms with lots of jobs. In the past they’ve been known as the body’s repairmen, but they also work as the general contractor. They coordinate, influence, replace, and get the work done. Adult Stem Cells can be found in different types of tissue such as bone marrow, fat, blood, skeletal muscles, and skin. They remain in a dormant stage for years until activated by disease or tissue injury ready to stimulate repair.
Sound the Alarm with Paracrine Signaling
Cells communicate through a cell-to-cell communication, in which a cell produces a signal to induce changes and alter behavior of other cells. Through paracrine signaling, cells receive this appropriate signal (an S.O.S.) and initiate regeneration and repair. The stem cell coordinates the repair by telling other cells what to do and influencing them to work harder.
Upon dividing, stem cells can remain a stem cell or develop into specialized cells to help the body grow or rejuvenate damaged cells – depending on the need. Here are the jobs stem cells can tackle and how they turn into the right kind of cell for the right kind of repair.
Jobs of a Stem Cell:
- Replace the entire cell, differentiation. The most common way a stem cell repairs cells is to replace them altogether, a process called differentiation. When a cell is dying, a stem cell will detect a chemical signal and make two copies of itself – a progenitor cell and a reserve stem cell. The progenitor cell observes its environment (chemistry, pressure) and transforms into the exact cell-type being replaced. When the process is complete, one stem cell is in reserve and one damaged cell is replaced.
- Coordinate cell repairs. When stem cells detect a chemical signal that tissue has been damaged, their general contractor function begins. The stem cells issue commands to other stem cells via chemical release of cytokines, which brings helpful cells to the area. Once on the scene, growth factors are released giving the cells a boost to work harder. These stem cells fix the area needing repair and then leave when the work is done.
- Power damaged mitochondria (a cell’s energy source). Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell. They create the energy that stimulates the cell to operate by converting nutrients from food into chemical energy. When our cells become damaged, sometimes those batteries lose power. Stem cells help damaged cells by transferring their good mitochondrial batteries to the damaged cell. The stem cell will find the damaged cell, latch onto it, and transfer the good batteries or mitochondria into the bad cell; replacing, repairing, and rejuvenating the cell.
In our fast-paced world of constant activity, making the best decision for treatment of a traumatic injury or a degenerative condition isn’t easy. What if surgery wasn’t the only option? At Nashville Regenerative Orthopedics, we envision a future where every patient recovers from their orthopedic procedures with minimal downtime. We treat injuries and degeneration non-surgically. Our regenerative stem cell therapies preserve the joint and tissues for long-term outcomes with high success rates in healing bone, joint, and soft tissue. Located here in Nashville, we offer the nation’s most advanced regenerative medicine.
Stem Cell Therapy:
As we age or get injuries, we may not be able to recruit enough of these critical stem cells to mend the body. Our Regenexx procedures harvest cells from reservoirs known to be rich in stem cells, concentrate those cells in our lab, and precisely reinject them into the damaged area to help the body heal naturally.
REGENEXX SAME DAY STEM CELL PROTOCOL – stem cells are harvested and reinjected on the same day! Although the major work is complete in one day, the complete protocol is usually a series of injections over a week-long period. The entire protocol usually consists of: a pre-injection, the same-day stem cell extraction and reinjection, followed by a post-injection of a platelet mixture.
To find out if you might be a candidate for PRP or stem cell therapy call Nashville Regenerative Orthopedics at 615-850-4415 or click on the link below to request more information:
More About Dr. Ethan Kellum
Dr. Ethan Kellum is a native of Henderson, Tennessee. He earned his medical degree from University of Tennessee Health and Science Center College of Medicine in Memphis. After a residency in orthopedic surgery at the Medical College of Georgia, he completed a surgical fellowship in sports medicine, shoulder, and advance arthroscopy at New England Baptist Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital. He served as assistant team physician for the NBA’s Boston Celtics, and Harvard and Tufts’ University athletics. His main focus is regenerative medicine and keeping patients out of the operating room.