Almost 25% of Americans over the age of 60 struggle with hip pain, which can make a chore out of such simple activities as walking, climbing stairs, and even sleeping. Although it is uncommon, hip pain can also strike young adults and children through illnesses like Perthes disease and septic arthritis.
For those seeking a safe, convenient alternative to surgery, stem cell therapy may provide the answer. By harnessing the body’s own healing powers, stem cell injections promote the repair and replacement of damaged tissue with new, healthy cells.
“Stem cell therapy” is often used interchangeably with “regenerative medicine,” although we offer two separate types of regenerative medicine therapies. Both use materials found in your own body in a way that amplifies their healing power in a damaged area, in this case the hip:
Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC)
This classic stem cell technique involves harvesting adult mesenchymal stem cells from a healthy area of the hip and re-injecting them into the problem area. Because stem cells can differentiate and proliferate into new cells once injected, they promote healing by encouraging new tissue growth and controlling inflammation.
Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelets in your blood contain beneficial growth factors that, when concentrated and re-injected, supply your hip with vital growth factors that promote cellular repair where your pain is.
Stem cell therapy can be effective in treating the following conditions:
Our two regenerative medicine treatments work differently inside your hips, but they’re similar from a patient’s perspective.
Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC):
A stem cell therapy treatment sources mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow in the iliac crest of the hip. Dr. Jensen withdraws the marrow with a special needle, then isolates the stem cells and growth factors found in the marrow by spinning it in a centrifuge. This results in concentrated bone marrow (BMC).
The BMC is then injected with the assistance of x-ray guidance to ensure precise delivery of the medicine to the pain point. Relief follows typically within four to six weeks as the stem cells go to work replacing the damaged cells with new ones and the growth factors stimulate tissue repair.
Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP):
A PRP treatment is like giving blood, except at the end, the blood is re-injected into your body. The key distinction with BMC therapy is while PRP contains no stem cells, the growth factors found in platelets (and PRP) can stimulate tissue repair and healing. Even without stem cells, these important protein molecules can reduce inflammation, repair tissue in the hips, and relieve hip pain.
Learn more about the stem cell therapy and PRP procedures.
Hip replacement surgery is far from a perfect cure. It typically involves a long hospital stay, surgery complications, several months of recovery during which you’re largely immobile, and possibly even a replacement replacement down the road. Strokes and heart attacks are also a real concern for older patients who undergo hip replacement surgery.
In contrast, stem cell therapy is minimally invasive and besides resting for a day, there’s virtually no downtime afterward. Although additional injections may be necessary at some point, a single injection often provides significant pain reduction and often improves mobility within a matter of weeks.
Invasive surgeries like a hip replacement carry the risks of blood clots, infection, fractures in healthy parts of the hip, and dislocation of the joint afterward. Hip replacements can also wear out, requiring a second surgery.
PRP and BMC are autologous, so they pose almost zero threat of allergic reaction or rejection by your immune system because they originate in your body. All injections carry a slight risk of infection or bleeding, but regenerative medicine treatments are widely practiced and have a well-established track record of safety.
We adhere to all relevant FDA guidelines with our PRP and stem cell treatments, which are used only in ways recognized by the FDA as an accepted part of the practice of medicine.
Every set of hips is unique, and while stem cells can work wonders for some patients, it may not be a good fit for others.
Whether you are a good candidate for this type of treatment can depend on your age, how serious your hip problem is, and whether you have already tried other forms of treatment without success. Consulting with a doctor is the best way to determine if regenerative medicine or another form of treatment such as physical therapy is most appropriate.
Call 713-984-1400 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jensen, or to learn more about what stem cell therapy can do for you.
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