Adipose derived stem cells are a great concept. You perform a little liposuction and process cells. The problem is that while there are many stem cells in fat, these cells are best at making more fat. So for cosmetic purposes, fat derived stem cells are a perfect fit. However, are they a good fit for orthopedic purposes? By themselves, not so much. We have blogged on the studies showing that fat cells under perform bone marrow stem cells for orthopedic purposes. So how can you use the best properties of both cell types? In Regenexx-AD we do just that. The procedure begins with our standard Regenexx-SD procedure (containing better bone marrow stem cells) and then add in a mini-liposuction. The fat tissue (which contains many stem cells) is used for a structural fat graft. What’s that? Fat has been used in joints by surgeons for many years to prevent excess bone formation and to help healing. An example of where we might use Regenexx-AD is with a degenerated meniscus. Often after meniscus surgeries that remove pieces of the meniscus, what’s left of the remaining meniscus will migrate out of the joint. This new meniscus position isn’t optimal and it tends to add to joint arthritis. In addition, the new position can cause to bone spurs on the side of the joint as the bone literally grows to allow the new meniscus position to remain functional. The Regenexx-AD procedure uses fat tissue to put pressure on the remaining meniscus and prevent it’s migration out of the joint. Rather than doing this surgically (as was done in the past), Regenexx-AD can be performed through an injection, speeding recovery time. In addition, since the fat tissue does contain many stem cells, they can also assist in healing. The best of both worlds.