Stem Cell Therapy with Amniotic Fluid

Venturis Stem Cell Therapy with Amniotic Fluid

 

Pain management has made much advancement during the last two decades. Modern medicine is breaking through to regenerative therapies, which involve use of stem cells to repair, heal, and sooth tendon, ligament, muscle, and connective tissue ailments. Stem cell therapy involving amniotic fluid is a cutting-edge treatment measure.

What are amniotic stem cells?

Stem cells are the most basic types of cells in the human body. These cells have the ability to become other types of cells. They can change into bone cells, chondrocytes (cartilage cells), myocytes (muscle cells), and skin cells. Amniotic stem cells are found in the fluid surrounding the fetus during pregnancy. The fluid is normally discarded during Cesarean section surgeries, but some women donate the fluid to be used for stem cell therapy.

How do amniotic-derived stem cells work?

Amniotic fluid is a rich source of stem cells. These cells can actually repair tissue damage and structure injury in the body. Amniotic stem cells are new in the field of regenerative medicine. They are potent and have the potential to become musculoskeletal tissue. These cells transform into the exact cells needed to regrow and re-build the injured or damaged body part. The amniotic fluid stem cells contain growth factors, antimicrobial components, hyaluronic acid, and cell activators which do not cause an immunologic rejection response.

Why use amniotic fluid?

Researchers have found that amniotic fluid has a very high concentration of stem cells, more than adipose tissue or bone marrow. When processed in an FDA-regulated laboratory, the biologic material derived has significant regenerative properties, such as stem cell activators and growth factors. Obtaining stem cells from embryos is a controversial issue, with many ethical considerations. However, when the amniotic fluid is donated, it poses no ethical dilemmas.

What are the benefits of using amniotic fluid stem cells?

The advantages of amniotic-derived stem cells include:

  • No fetus is harmed during the collection process, as the fluid would be discarded if not donated.
  • The cytokines in the fluid have anti-inflammatory properties, which has no steroid component.
  • The growth factors in the stem cells promote new tissue growth.
  • The fluid has hyaluronic acid, which provides excellent pain relief for up to 12 months.

Does stem cell therapy work?

Recent research involving use of human amniotic membranes for stem cell extraction has proved that they are effective. Injections given to canines at the site of laminectomy reduced scar tissue significantly. In a human study, stem cells from amniotic fluid were given after a decompression procedure. The patients had significant reduction in scar tissue formation and adherence of the underlying dura. In another clinical study, patients treated with freshly collected amniotic fluid stem cell therapy had a more sustained effect and remarkable improvement. However, the pain relief only lasted 3-6 months.

How are amniotic-derived stem cell injections used?

Patients are being treated with amniotic fluid stem cells for many conditions. These include:

 

  • SI joint arthritis
  • Spinal joint arthritis
  • Facet joint syndrome
  • Hip arthritis
  • Shoulder bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Discogenic pain
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Disc bulging

What can I expect at the injection visit?

Stem cell injections are given at our Venturis center using local anesthesia. Depending on the site injected, the skin is cleaned with an antimicrobial solution, and the doctor inserts a tiny needle to numb the region. The procedure needle is often inserted under real-time x-ray, so the doctor can assure correct placement. After the stem cell solution is injected into the joint or body structure, the needle is removed, and a bandage is applied.

Resources

Bhattacharya N (2012). Amniotic Fluid Cell Therapy to Relieve Disc-Related Low Back Pain and Its Efficacy Comparison with Long-Acting Steroid Injection. Human Fetal Tissue Transplantation, 251-264.

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