Today I want to talk about when to use stem cell therapy and when not to use stem cell therapy. I’m going to use myself for an example. I wore a short sleeve shirt today because I whacked my elbow on the little latch of the fence gate this weekend. It is all bruised, swollen, and my range of motion is decreased. It is affecting some of the things that I wanted to do this weekend, but couldn’t because my elbow was sore. Could I inject my elbow with stem cells and see a decrease in inflammation, a faster healing process and get my range of motion back faster? Absolutely, I could. But here’s the thing, even if the lab were to give me the cells and I still had to pay the nurse practitioner, I don’t think an injury like this for me is personally worth the expense to get better faster. I know my elbow is going to heal on its own in a matter of a couple of days before I get my elbow working again.
Now, if I’m a professional athlete and rely on that elbow, it’d be a different story. But for me, this injury isn’t that big of a deal. Compare that to a radiology report I got last week from a patient with a hurt knee. The report said that she had severe patellofemoral osteoarthritis and associated with chondromalacia, lateral patellar subluxation, femoral trochlear dysplasia and increased TTTD resistance, the advanced osteoarthritis is likely related to chronic patellofemoral syndrome and some associated tears in the ligaments that went on with that in her MRI report. She sent this to me and asked, “Even with things that are this bad would you inject a knee like this?” I looked at it and said, “Absolutely, let me send it up to the medical team.” The medical team looked at it and said absolutely, this is the type of injury that if she doesn’t do something about this, this will lead to a bone on bone (if we aren’t already there) and will lead to a joint replacement. We injected her on Thursday, even as bad as things were, and she’s reporting back to me Monday morning that she’s already starting to feel better.
To sum things up, my elbow injury was an acute injury, therefore I would not inject it with stem cells. The MRI report of the knee injury that I shared is a chronic injury and is absolutely something that I would inject. I hope that makes sense and clears some things up for you. Thanks a lot, we’ll talk to you soon.