Frequently Asked Questions
Stem cell therapy is a regenerative injection technique that infuses a damaged joint with stem cells from cord tissues into your body, as well as other components that make up the cord tissue layer: growth factors that stimulate tissue growth, hyaluronic acid (a natural joint lubricant/buffer that improves mobility), and naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agents such as cytokines et. al. This is collectively known as a “placental tissue matrix.” While this matrix has anti-inflammatory properties, much like cortisone and steroid shots, the beneficial effects of stem cell therapy goes well beyond the benefits and capabilities of standard injection therapy. Stem cell injections also have antimicrobial (germ-killing) and anti-fibrotic (i.e. ability to break down scar tissue) properties as well.
Injectable steroids and oral or topical pain medications only provide temporary pain relief and nothing to address the underlying problem; stem cells restore damaged tissue while providing pain relief. The growth factors in cord stem cells may replace damaged cells in your body.
While there are risks with any procedure that involves injections, the laboratory that Vitality Medical Centers uses for their stem cells has, to date, reported over 150,000 stem cell injection procedures without a single reported adverse effect. There are, of course, always risks associated with an injection procedure (e.g. pain, bleeding, risk of infection, etc.) but sterile techniques and administration by a trained physician minimizes these risks.
- Cord stem cell therapy is a preferred type of stem cell therapy because the cells come from an immune privileged site, which means that patient-rejection is all but non-existent.
- The use of cord stem cells is well researched, safe, and effective. Cord stem cells have been used by ophthalmologists and plastic surgeons for the last 20 years.
- All cord stem cell donors go through a rigorous screening process, as determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB).
Typically 1-2ml of stem cells are injected in a single procedure. This amount can very depending on the size of the area being injected. In the 1-2ml of stem cells there are about 1-2 million cells.
The injured site sends a signal to call on the allograft tissue for help. The reason why the tissue is needed is because allograft tissues in particular have two very beneficial capabilities:
- They are able to multiply themselves to make more tissue.
- They are able to change their type of cell to mirror the certain cells that are needed in order to heal the specific area.
Although many patients immediately experience the associated benefits of SurForce®, including a dramatic decrease in pain, some patients may feel a slight increase in discomfort. This is due to an anticipated mild inflammatory response, which may last 24 to 48 hours. On some occasions, patients have reported a self-limiting feeling of general malaise, which gradually subsides 24 hours after treatment.
In addition, the application and use of any allograft tissue may potentially have negative outcomes. Occurrence of complications at the site of application may transpire post-treatment, without early warning signs. These may include but are not limited to: 1) transmission of communicable diseases, known or unknown; 2) transmission of infectious disease agents; and 3) immune rejection of, and/or allergic reaction to the allograft. Any adverse reactions potentially attributable to the allograft must be reported promptly to Surgenex.
Although Surgenex® has taken great measure to ensure the safety of our allograft products, current technologies cannot preclude the transmission of certain diseases, known or unknown. Therefore, Surgenex® can make no claims concerning the biological properties and absolute safety of allograft tissue.
The success rates are very hard to track statistically due to the wide variety of injuries and diseases stem cells are used for. There is no guarantee that any patient no matter their history or current condition will see positive results. However, after a history obtained and an exam is performed on the patient and the patient is deemed a good candidate, as long as they follow the pre and post procedure instructions, the number of successful results is extremely high and continues to grow every year.
Typically, if the patient has good success with the treatment, the results will either continue to improve over time or will last a lifetime as long as there are no further injuries sustained to the specific area.
Depending on the severity of the injury and the medical history of the patient, age should not be a sole restriction. However, the patient’s ability to heal should be favorable and in certain instances age could affect the likelihood for successful results.
Patients suffering from any kind of joint, tendon, or ligament pain may be potential candidates for amniotic stem cell therapy. Please keep in mind that not every patient is a reasonable candidate for stem cell therapy and that results from these injections may vary from no response to complete relief of symptoms.
A good candidate:
- should be free of any cancers for a minimum of 3 years
- should not have an extensive history of antibiotics, steroid usage, opioid usage or be dependent on anticoagulants such as Xarelto, Coumadin or Eliquis
- if injecting into a joint-there should be some cartilage (even if very minimal amount) for the stem cells to strengthen.
A history of the patient as well as a physical exam should be performed by the provider who will be performing the procedure. If the patient has had any recent surgeries, imaging or significant changes in health status, they should provide copies of images and/or medical records at the time of the exam.
At this time, allograft tissues are the only treatment of its kind that have been proven to be successful. Depending on the patient’s medical history and current medical condition, PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) therapy could be an alternative and less costly option.
If allograft tissue is needed for multiple injuries or parts of the body, it is possible in most circumstances to receive treatment for both areas in a single visit. For example, treatments to bilateral extremities is usually okay as long as it does not interfere with the patient being able to follow the post procedure instructions.
Each patient is different. Typically results are seen within 6-8 weeks following the procedure. However it can take as long as 3-6 months before full results are seen.
Recipients of Surgenex® injectable allografts typically walk out of the treatment center unassisted after injection. The application site should be rested and light, easy movement is advised. The patient should restrict their activity to tasks of average, daily living for the first 3 days. Caution should be taken to resuming any activity involving the treated area. The patient should avoid repetitive, loaded exercise, such as stair steppers, running or weight lifting involving the treated area for the first 4 weeks. Strenuous activity should only be resumed under the direction of the treating heath care provider.
If the issue is a result of the procedure, the provider from our office will absolutely see the patient and do an evaluation.
Allograft tissue could be very beneficial for the ligaments that attach to the artificial knee to help strengthen them. When a knee is replaced, the ligaments are stretched very thin in order to attach them to the new knee so in a lot of instances the patient still has a lot of pain.
The FDA has identified intra-articular, intra-dermal, and subcutaneous injections to be low-risk and currently under enforcement discretion. Systemic administration, intravenous or intra-ocular injection, aerosol inhalation, or administration into the central nervous system (CNS) are considered high-risk, due to known post-treatment complications, and must never be attempted or performed with Surgenex products.
- 14 days before and after
- 14 days before and after
- 14 days before and after
- 12 hours before, 14 days after
- Must be cancer-free, not receiving chemo or radiation. Oncologist approval is ideal.