Whether you’re a professional or an amateur, a sports injury can sideline you from participating in your favorite physical activity. Unfortunately, traditional treatments for sports injuries can require extensive recovery time, including rest, surgical intervention, and rehabilitation, which can keep you out of the game for an extended period of time. From bone breaks to post-injury arthritis, sports injuries can take a long time to heal, or never heal at all.
Fortunately, an innovative regenerative treatment known as stem cell therapy provides patients with an alternative to conventional techniques that helps improve healing outcomes and gets you back in the game in less time.
Even injuries that require minimally invasive surgery need ample recovery time in order for athletes to fully heal and reduce the risk of recurrent injury. Following minor surgery, the recovery process will vary for each individual but it usually includes limited movement, bracing, and/or physical therapy.
For athletes, this loss of active playtime is particularly difficult for athletes who have reached their peak performance as they must pause their athletic careers to simply heal. However, with the use of regenerative therapy techniques, post-surgical patients enjoy faster recovery times and for some, surgical intervention can sometimes be avoided altogether.
What Is Stem Cell Therapy?
While stem cells exist in all of our tissues, certain areas like bone marrow and fat contain an abundance of these regenerative cells. In autologous adult stem cell therapy, regenerative cells are extracted from the bone marrow or fat and injected into areas of injury or degeneration to reduce inflammation and promote regeneration and healing.
Scientists believe that stem cells work in this capacity by migrating to areas of distress and then releasing specific chemical signals to recruit other local cells to switch from a degenerative mode to a regenerative one. In this role, stem cells sort of work as an orchestra conductor. Bone marrow and fat contain not only stem cells but other substances like growth factors, which are also beneficial for regenerative effects.
How is a Stem Cell Therapy Treatment Performed?
Stem cell therapy is a relatively quick procedure that requires minimal downtime. Stem cell therapy is broken down into the following steps:
- Your orthopedic surgeon will extract the cells from a healthy area of the body
- A local anesthetic is applied to this area before your cells are carefully extracted
- The stem cells are separated in a centrifuge device
- Finally, the stem cells are injected directly into the site of the injury
What Does Stem Cell Therapy Treat?
There are many sports injuries that can be helped with regenerative therapy. For example, stem cell therapy can help treat musculoskeletal injuries, such as tendon inflammation, muscle sprains, arthritis, and bone fractures. Some of the most commonly experienced sports injuries that regenerative therapy can address include:
The most common type of sports injury is a muscle strain. When the muscle sustains an injury, stem cell therapy helps create new muscle tissue in a process known as regeneration.
The most typical type of cartilage damage occurs in the knees. When an athlete suffers a knee injury, the cartilage, which helps with shock absorption begins to deteriorate. Regenerative therapy can naturally reduce painful inflammation to help improve range of motion and function.
Tendinopathy is an overuse injury most commonly affecting runners and tennis players. Frequent, repeated movements can lead to tendon damage. However, stem cell therapy can help heal the damaged tendons and improve both strength and structure.
Athletes often experience stress fractures when training or competing. These injuries occur when a substantial amount of stress is placed on a bone or joint, causing the tissue to weaken and break. Regenerative techniques help stress fractures heal by stimulating the growth of blood vessels at the break and jump starts bone repair.
Your Sports Injury Expert in Los Angeles
If you’re suffering from a sports-related injury, regenerative therapy can help you heal. Beverly Hills orthopedic surgeon Steven W. Meier, MD and his team at Meier Orthopedic Sports Medicine (MOSM) are experts in regenerative medicine techniques, which can help improve your post-injury recovery. Contact Meier Orthopedic Sports Medicine to schedule a consultation today.