Stories of stem cell injections are all over the news these days. Every time a new stem cell or PRP clinic opens in town, the local news station has to run down and get the story. Whenever a pro athlete receives stem cell injections to recover from injury, the sports media is on the case. Yet there are still plenty of people who don’t know much about stem cell injections despite all the media coverage.
According to the Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) out of Salt Lake City, UT, stem cell injections are routinely used these days to treat osteoarthritis, musculoskeletal injuries, and chronic pain. ARMI trains doctors to safely and properly administer the injections under established FDA rules.
What doctors learn at the ARMI enables them to offer both stem cell and PRP therapies to their patients. They come away from their ARMI training with a lot more knowledge than they went in with. For example, check out these four things most people don’t know about stem cell injections:
1. They Are FDA Approved
The kinds of procedures doctors trained by ARMI offer are already FDA approved despite news reports to the contrary. FDA regulations allow for the use of minimally manipulated autologous material without a need for further approval. So as long as doctors stay within the confines of the FDA’s definition minimally manipulated autologous stem cells, there is no problem from a regulatory standpoint.
2. Patients Donate Their Own Stem Cells
The use of autologous stem cell material is key to what doctors are doing with stem cell injections for musculoskeletal issues and chronic pain. What is autologous material? It is material supplied directly by the patient being treated.
If you were to see an ARMI trained doctor for stem cell injections to treat a painful knee, such injections would be preceded by a blood or fat tissue draw. The blood or fat tissue you supply would be processed in a specialized centrifuge to isolate the desired cells. Those cells would then be injected into your painful knee.
3. The Risk of Complications Is Low
One of the big reasons the FDA approves of minimally manipulated, autologous material for injection is the fact that the risk of using such material is extremely low. Remember, the patient donates his or her own stem cells. That means there is zero risk of rejection. Likewise, complications are rare.
The most prevalent risk associated with stem cell injections is that of infection. Yet infection is always a risk with any kind of injection. It is a minor risk at that. We do not shy away from inoculations or steroid injections because of the risk of infection, so there is no need to place too much emphasis on the risk of infection for stem cell procedures.
4. Recovery Time Is Fairly Quick
Finally, the recovery time required after stem cell injections is relatively quick. Patients typically walk out of the office with a minimal amount of pain. Depending on the purpose of the injections, they begin to see improvement in their pain within several days. Rarely are patients debilitated by the pain of injections.
Unlike surgery, it doesn’t take weeks or months to recover from stem cell injections either. In fact, many patients discover their normal activities are not at all inhibited by their treatments.
Stem cell injections are proving to be an extremely popular choice for people hoping to avoid surgery, steroid injections, and long-term pain medication. The more that people learn about the injections, the more they are coming to understand there is little to fear.