Cell-Based Therapy

San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group is a leading provider of cell based therapy for the relief of arthritis, lower back pain and other orthopedic conditions.

Cell-based therapies are a versatile and powerful treatment method that is transforming the field of orthopedic medicine. Conditions such as arthritis, tendon tears or disc tears that would traditionally be managed with medications or surgery can now be treated with your own cells to provide years of relief. Stem cells are present in every part of your body. When you sustain an orthopedic injury, the regenerative potential can become overwhelmed leading to chronic inflammation, degeneration and pain. More traditional medical treatments have focused on the symptoms of pain and inflammation offering only temporary relief. Cell therapy involves harvesting healthy cells, including stem cells and precisely relocating them to the injured area. Injured tissues begin to heal and regenerate because that is what these cells were designed to do.

San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group offers two different kinds of cell based therapies, bone marrow-derived cells and adipose-derived cells. Bone marrow-derived cells are collected from the back of the pelvic bone. This is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a local anesthetic to make the procedure more comfortable.

Adipose-derived cells are collected from a fat sample usually from the waist or abdomen. This is a minimally invasive procedure that requires a local anesthetic to make the procedure more comfortable. Adipose tissue contains more stem / stromal progenitor cells than bone marrow, and is a popular cell based treatment. Technically speaking, the cells derived from bone marrow and adipose (fat) tissue are not stem cells but include precursors called “pericytes”. You have pericytes attached to every blood vessel in your body. When these cells sense that an injury has occurred they will jump into action, and initiate healing. They will produce molecules that direct other cells in the area to form new blood vessels, awaken other stem cells, and stimulate cellular proliferation. They protect the healing tissue from an overly aggressive immune system or bacteria. They encourage newly forming cells to produce collagen and other proteins essential for creating new healthy tissues. Other clinics perform donor stem cells derived from amniotic fluid or other fetal tissues. With these procedures there is a risk of disease transmission or immune reaction. The donor tissues are sterilized to minimize the risk of disease transmission, but living stem cells do not survive the sterilization process.

Furthermore, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow physicians to use stem cells from another person without FDA approval. At this time, no such product has met the strict criteria to warrant its use. Therefore, we do NOT use cells derived from another person. We only use your own adult bone marrow or adipose cells. In addition, we do NOT use embryonic stem cells.

Not everyone is a candidate for cell based therapy. If you have active cancer or infection, a history of blood disease, are taking certain blood thinners, or pregnant this therapy is not suitable for you.

The success rate and recovery time of healing is dependent upon the degree of the injury, the overall health of the patient and the quality of the treatment plan. Our patients undergo a comprehensive consultation and examination to assure the greatest chance of a successful outcome. Our treatment plans typically involve other forms of therapy to maximize improvements in biomechanics, fitness, nutritional status and healing capacity. 

Our regenerative medicine physicians will be happy to evaluate your orthopedic condition to determine if you are a candidate for this exciting and innovative form of therapy.

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