We’ve been impressed with using stem cell injections in the right kind of discs. While most patients believe that there is only one type of disc issue, there seems to be no end to the number of physicians willing to inject stem cells into discs. However, we’ve been more selective. Why? Eleven years of experience injecting stem cells into low-back discs have taught us that this is a great tool when it’s applied to the right kind of discs and a waste of money when it’s applied to the wrong type. This morning I’d like to review a patient of Dr. Pitts, who has the right type of disc, and go over some important changes in the problem disc.
Tracey is an active middle-aged woman with a disc tear and bulge that had persisted for two years. She had tried and failed physical therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care. Tracy got only temporary relief from low-back epidural steroid injections, an SI joint injection, and a radiofrequency ablation of her facet joints. Dr. Pitts initially tried using our 4th-generation platelet lysate procedure by injecting this into the ligaments, joints, and epidural, but she didn’t note that much relief. Hence, he became more convinced that her remaining pain was related to the L5–S1 disc. So in March of this past year, he performed a same-day stem cell procedure, precisely injecting her cells into the L5–S1 disc using fluoroscopic guidance.
Her MRIs are above, taken before the procedure (on the left) and then about seven months after (on the right). Notice the disc bulge in the yellow-dashed line that’s there before and then not there or smaller after the procedure. Also, note that this was a long-standing bulge that wasn’t resolving on its own, so it’s likely that these changes were caused by the injection. She also noted about 75–80% resolution of her low-back and other symptoms.
The upshot? Low-back discs, when they’re carefully selected, can respond well to expert same-day stem cell treatment. However, we see all too often that treatment is offered to any patient with a disc issue and the money to pay for the treatment. Tracey is an excellent example of a patient who needed stem cells injected into her disc to recover!
*DISCLAIMER: Like all medical procedures, Regenexx® Procedures have a success and failure rate. Patient reviews and testimonials on this site should not be interpreted as a statement on the effectiveness of our treatments for anyone else.
Providers listed on the Regenexx website are for informational purposes only and are not a recommendation from Regenexx for a specific provider or a guarantee of the outcome of any treatment you receive.
About the Author
Christopher J. Centeno, M.D. is an international expert and specialist in regenerative medicine and the clinical use of mesenchymal stem cells in orthopedics. He is board certified in physical medicine as well as rehabilitation and in pain management through The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.…