Procedure Experience

What Is a Regenexx Same-Day (SD) Stem Cell or Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) Procedure?

The Regenexx stem-cell protocol is called a same-day procedure because the stem cells are harvested and reinjected on the same day.

For most patients, however, the recommended protocol is a series of injections of different orthobiologics that happens over the course of about a week depending on each unique situation. These injections include a prolotherapy pre-injection, the same-day stem-cell extraction and re-injection procedure, and a blood draw and post-injection of multiple Regenexx’s proprietary platelet-rich plasma concentrations.

This process applies to procedures for the knee, hip, shoulder, hand, wrist, foot, ankle, elbow, and spine. The process for spine conditions includes an extra step of antibiotics given to reduce the risk of infection along with an epidural containing platelets.

Regenexx Same Day Stem Cell Procedure

First Day (Pre-injection)

Your first visit involves an injection of a special hypertonic dextrose solution that creates a mild inflammatory environment that is conducive to healing. The purpose of this part of the procedure is to cause the same kind of acute inflammation that might occur during an injury. To use a farming metaphor, this step is like tiling the soil. Your first visit will take between 30 and 40 minutes.

Prolotheraphy

Second Day (Stem-Cell Procedure)

On the morning of your stem-cell procedure, you will lie on your stomach on the procedure table where a local anesthetic will be applied. The physician will then draw bone marrow from the back of your iliac crest using precise image guidance. The doctor will draw from both hip bones. Some patients will be given an oral sedative to help to ease anxiety and relax the muscles prior to the bone marrow draw. The procedure we use is called a bone marrow aspirate which is significantly less invasive than a painful bone marrow biopsy. This draw takes 30-60 minutes. The bone marrow aspiration process is often described by patients as being only mildly uncomfortable and is typically well tolerated.

While your cells are being processed by a Regenexx lab technician, you will have some downtime to relax and to eat lunch. The re-injection of stem cells into the site of the injury takes place between three and eight hours after the bone marrow aspiration. Local anesthesia is used to numb the area and the stem cells are precisely reinjected using real-time imaging guidance (ultrasound or fluoroscopy). Patients may be asked to stay in the clinic 30-60 minutes after re-injection. This procedure typically takes 60-80 minutes.

Bone Marrow Aspirate

Third Day

SCP is a super-concentrated version of platelet rich plasma, a concentrated blood-platelet injection that contains healing growth components that increase the activity of the stem cells. It is created in our on-site othrobiologics lab by a skilled technician who can include more of the blood components that encourage and support healing while removing other components that cause unnecessary inflammation and discomfort. Blood is drawn from a vein in your arm and processed and prepared in our lab for re-injection within 24 hours. The blood draw takes 15-30 minutes.

During a second visit, SCP is injected into the treatment site and works in conjunction with your reinjected stem cells. Platelet lysate (PL), which is the growth factors isolated from your blood platelets may also be use to act as an immediate release of helpful growth factors versus the slow release from the whole platelets contained in SCP. This procedure takes 20-30 minutes.

PRP Injections

Post-Procedure

The stem-cell injection produces a micro injury in the joint. As a result, expect the joint to be sore for one to three days. Your physician may prescribe pain medicines that will not hinder the healing caused by the procedure. Patients can additionally take Tylenol but are asked to avoid NSAIDs. The goal is to allow the stem cells to attach and then to protect them while they differentiate into various tissues. For this reason, you will be asked to keep the joint as still as possible for 30-60 minutes after the procedure. Do not take a bath for three days, but a shower 12 hours after the procedure is fine. For the first day after, you should limit activity on the joint. Wear all recommended braces or boots.

Most patients report a modest improvement in the first month. You will notice that as time goes on your pain that occurred before is less severe and frequent. Most patients are able to resume light activities after 5 to 7 days. Usually at 6 to 8 weeks patients begin to resume a more vigorous exercise schedule. Most of our very active patients are able to return to their regular routine in 6 weeks and push their performance to higher levels in 8 to 12 weeks. Improvements will continue throughout this time period. Most patients notice continued healing over many months. Our outcome data suggests peaking at 1-2 years out. Results vary by patient and depend on the condition of the area treated, age, and general health.

Post Procedure Success

What Is a Regenexx Super Concentrated Platelet (SCP) or PL-Disc Procedure?

The Regenexx Super Concentrated Platelet (SCP) Procedure and Platelet Lysate (PL) uses growth factors from your blood to repair damaged tissue.

For most patients the recommended SCP or PL protocol involves a blood draw and an injection on the same day. This process applies to procedures for the knee, hip, shoulder, hand, wrist, foot, ankle, and elbow.

The process for spine conditions includes an extra step of antibiotics given to reduce the risk of infection along with an epidural containing platelets. Also, Platelet Lysate is often recommended for back and spine treatments due to its fast release and reduced inflammation.

Super Concentrated Platelets

Procedure Day

On your procedure day, blood is drawn from a vein in your arm. This blood is then processed and prepared in our lab for re-injection within 24 hours. We use this blood to prepare an injection of highly concentrated platelet rich plasma containing the growth factors isolated from your blood. This blood draw takes 15-30 minutes.

During a second visit, this platelet rich plasma is injected under image guidance into the treatment site. This procedure takes 20-30 minutes.

Laboratory Creating Super Concentrated Platelets

Post-Procedure

The Regenexx SCP and PL injections produces a micro injury in the joint. As a result, expect the joint to be sore for one to three days. Your physician may prescribe pain medicines that will not hinder the healing caused by the procedure. Patients can additionally take Tylenol but are asked to avoid NSAIDs. The goal is to allow the stem cells to attach and then to protect them while they differentiate into various tissues. For this reason, you will be asked to keep the joint as still as possible for 30-60 minutes after the procedure. For the first day after, you should limit activity on the joint. Wear all recommended braces or boots.

Most patients report a modest improvement in the first month. You will notice that as time goes on your pain that occurred before is less severe and frequent. Most patients are able to resume light activities after 5 to 7 days. Usually at 6 to 8 weeks patients begin to resume a more vigorous exercise schedule. Most of our very active patients are able to return to their regular routine in 6 weeks and push their performance to higher levels in 8 to 12 weeks. Improvements will continue throughout this time period. Most patients notice continued healing over many months. Our outcome data suggests peaking at 1-2 years out. Results vary by patient and depend on the condition of the area treated, age, and general health.

Post Procedure Success