ACL Stem Cell Treatment – An Alternative to ACL Surgery
ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury is a common sports injury that occurs when one of the knee ligaments that joins the upper leg bone with the lower leg bone is over-stretched or torn. Approximately 200,000 Americans undergo ACL surgery every year, but surgery is not a perfect solution for many patients. After surgical repair of an ACL tear, patients will have to go through a lengthy rehabilitation process that lasts about 6 to 9 months before their knee can experience normal functionality. However, even after rehabilitation, most active patients will not be able to perform as they did before the ACL tear.
At the Institute of Regenerative Medicine, we offer a safe alternative to ACL surgery. Using advances in regenerative medicine, we can repair a patient’s ACL by using their stem cells. Patients who receive stem cell treatment for a torn ACL experience a quicker recovery with minimum to no loss of performance in their knee.
How ACL Stem Cell Treatment Work?
Stem cells are the body’s natural healers. When we get injured, the stem cells will convert into other types of cells that are needed to repair a damaged joint such as cartilage, bone, or muscle. As we age, the number of stem cells in our body decrease. This causes older adults to need more time to heal from injuries.
To compensate for the decline in stem cells, we harvest stem cells from the patient’s blood, fat tissues, and bone marrow and process them to create a high concentration of stem cells. We then combine the stem cells with other regenerative cells and various growth factors, including human growth hormones (HGH). The growth factors will stimulate the stem cells to increase their healing potential as they repair the ACL tear. The concentrated mixture of stem cells and growth factors are then injected directly into the torn ACL using ultrasound to guide the injection. Once injected, the stem cells will begin their job of restoring and rebuilding the damaged ACL. The entire procedure only takes a few hours to complete, and patients will be able to leave the clinic and go back home immediately.
When Do I See Results?
After the injection, the stem cell will begin the healing process immediately. However, because the stem cells are restoring the ACL through a natural process, results will not be instant. Typically, patients will begin to see a response from the stem cell treatment in about 3 to 4 weeks after the injection. Afterward, the stem cells will continue the healing process, and patients will see even greater results in the following weeks.
For most patients, a single stem cell injection is all that is needed to heal their torn ACL. For patients with severe damage to their ACL, a second stem cell injection may be necessary after the first month from the first injection. The number of stem cell injections will be determined after our orthopedic surgeons examine a patient’s medical files to ascertain the severity of the patient’s ACL tear.
Is Stem Cell Treatment Safe?
Stem cell treatment is a safe alternative to ACL surgery and can be utilized by anyone. We follow FDA guidelines and do not grow stem cell or inject any foreign substances into the patient. We only use stem cells that we collect from the patient’s blood, fat tissues, and bone marrow. The risk of infections or rejection is virtually nonexistent. However, to determine if stem cell therapy would be an effective choice for you, our medical staff would have to examine your medical files first.