Stem Cell Treatments

SAC Regenerative Orthopedics

Alberto J. Panero, D.O.

Regenerative Orthopedics Specialist & Sports Medicine Specialist located in Sacramento, CA

Stem cell therapy is a cornerstone of regenerative orthopedics. Stem cells are used to stimulate tissue repair and growth in your body. Visit SAC Regenerative Orthopaedics in Sacramento, California, to learn how Dr. Alberto J. Panero can apply this leading-edge therapy to bring relief to your soft tissue injuries and get you fully functional and healthier than ever.

Stem Cell Treatments

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells found in the body. These "handymen" repair damaged tissues and maintain normal tissues. Stem cells help change the microenvironment of the injured tissue and activate a healing cascade, promoting anti-inflammation, inducing cell proliferation, as well as enhancing angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) and other stem cell migration. These properties make them ideal for the treatment of arthritis, tendon, muscle, and ligament injuries.

Where do stem cells come from?

SAC Regenerative Orthopaedics concentrates on two types of stem cells:

  1. Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Mesenchymal stem cells specialize in repairing bone, cartilage, muscle, tendon, and ligament.
  2. Hematopoietic Stem Cells: Hematopoietic stem cells reproduce all blood lines and contain many of the biochemicals that modulate healing and tissue repair.

Your bone marrow contains both of these types of stem cells, along with endothelial progenitor cells which stimulate angiogenesis and release important compounds to grow tissue.

Additionally, bone marrow contains many growth factors and platelets that the body can use to promote healing. In contrast, adipose (fat) derived stem cells contain mesenchymal stem cells, but may not have many of the other contributing cells.

The concentration of stem cells in your bone marrow starts to decrease as you age. Although adipose tissue may not have some of the other contributing types of cells, age does not have an effect on the number of stem cells contained in fat. Dr. Panero will look at each individual and determine which harvest site is appropriate.

How are stem cells harvested from your bone marrow?

Bone marrow is aspirated from the back of your hip. This procedure is well tolerated because the back of your hip is precisely anesthetized under ultrasound guidance with a long acting anesthetic.  Once the bone marrow is collected, it’s filtered through a machine, centrifuged and separated.

How are stem cells harvested from fat?

Fat’s collected from the belly, flank, or thigh. After receiving local anesthesia, the doctor inserts a thin tube to collect the adipose tissue, which is then put in a cylinder and “shaken.” Shaking separates the cells from the fat tissue and the stress of this agitation may activate them to start tissue repair.

How long is recovery from the harvesting process?

Both procedures take 30 minutes and you go home the day of the procedure. Complete healing of bruising, swelling, and soreness will take about 1- 2 weeks.