There are lots of different types of treatments out there that are called “knee stem cells,” but few involve any actual stem cells. For example, a common one is called an “umbilical cord” stem cell therapy, but this is a scam. Why? Our lab and several others has done this research and shown that the umbilical cord products being used by these clinics contain no actual mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), despite claims to the contrary (1-3). You will have to log in or register to view the full content.
Intracavernosal injection of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) as a treatment for erectile dysfunction (ED) is an emerging practice that warrants awareness among primary care physicians and urologists alike. Epidemiologic studies have shown that ED is a highly prevalent condition, affecting more than 300 million men globally, and the use of regenerative medicine, such stem cells, to reverse ED is highly desired.1 In the current era of consumerism, increasing numbers of patients are demanding novel and innovative treatment options. There is a trend toward the global emergence of clinics offering PRP as a treatment for ED for many desperate and vulnerable men; however, despite the introduction and commercialization of this therapy, there remains little evidence to support its use and guide patient or clinician in the decision making process.
Well over ten years ago, medical scientists began to realize that a specific “fraction” of human blood contained special growth factors and healing-inducing properties. This portion of blood, known as Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), is devoid of red blood cells but contains blood serum. It is what’s responsible for blood clotting and tissue healing. In everyday life, we know PRP as that yellow goo around a scab from whence healing generates. In addition to speeding healing, platelet rich plasma also contains a significant array of growth factors that make it an enhancer of function of the tissue areas that it comes into contact with.
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. This is concentrated blood platelets in the patient’s own plasma. To create this, the doctor takes blood and spins it in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets.
The idea behind PRP injections is that platelets have growth factors that they release to aid healing. So if you cut yourself, the platelets clot the blood and also release growth factors to help the cut heal. Hence, PRP can help injured tissues heal.
Lumbar radiculopathy is commonly known as “Sciatica”. It is a relatively common condition affecting an estimated 12-40% of patients who are suffering from low back pain.
Stem cell therapy is a novel therapy to consider in these patients. Radiculopathy by definition means inflammation of the nerve. Stem cells are known to secrete very potent anti-inflammatory proteins and thus relieve inflammation and pain. Thus it seems logical to use stem cells to treat the inflammation of the nerves.
The posterior approach that was described by K. Mautner, C. Stafford, and P Nguyen in the PMR journal years back. If you do any elbow injections, especially distal biceps, it is a great reference and a safe approach! If you haven’t read their case report