Our skilled and experienced specialists at Sierra Pacific Orthopedics’ Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center in Fresno specialize in caring for patients suffering from muscle, tendon, ligament, or cartilage injuries and conditions. Whether you are experiencing pain from an injury or chronic conditions, our skilled doctors will provide you with the highest level of care and compassion.
Our stem cell and regenerative medicine doctors at Sierra Pacific Orthopedics provide treatment for patients with injuries or chronic conditions of the musculoskeletal system. In the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center, our doctors provide a base of shared knowledge with procedures and treatment methods for patients in Fresno, central California, and throughout the region.
Common procedures and treatments our regenerative medicine experts perform include:
- Corticosteroids (aka cortisone) – Corticosteroids have been used in orthopedics for nearly 100 years. In orthopedics, they are often used with the primary purpose of providing fast-acting, but usually short-term, relief of inflammatory conditions of joints, bursae, and certain tendons. In some conditions, these injections of corticosteroids can break a vicious cycle of inflammation and may cure the condition. Commonly used for a flare or aggravation of shoulder, hip, or knee arthritis, they are also used for bursitis of the shoulder, elbow, hip, and knee. These injections are typically covered by insurance.
- Hyaluronic Acid (aka viscosupplement or joint lubricant) – This material is very similar to the normal lubricant that is made in a healthy joint. The material is made either synthetically or isolated from an avian animal source. It is commonly used for management of knee arthritis as a series of injections (one to five, depending upon the condition and the brand). Studies have generally shown effectiveness for most patients with moderate arthritis for approximately six months. Injections are often, but not always, covered by insurance carriers for the knee. Not covered by insurance for other joints, such as shoulder or hip.
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (aka PRP) – This material is isolated from your own blood and contains natural healing factors, including growth factors and cytokines (chemical messengers). Your blood is drawn and processed in a special syringe and centrifuge to obtain the PRP. The PRP is then injected into the treatment site. Often used to promote quicker healing of injured soft tissues such as ligaments and tendons, it is also used to reduce pain in arthritic joints. Some studies have shown they can reduce pain in an arthritic joint for much longer than six months. PRP is usually given as one injection per treatment episode, but occasionally in a series of two to three. Insurance rarely covers PRP injections.
- Stem Cell Therapy – Stem cells are a universal type of cell that can differentiate into (turn into) a specific type of cell. Mesenchymal stem cells have the capability to replicate and differentiate into muscle, bone, fat, or cartilage-producing cells. Additionally, these cells can produce factors (some of which are also found in PRP) that help reduce inflammation and fight cell death. Autologous stem cells are those that are taken from the patient being treated (not from another person, animal, or lab). In our clinic, we obtain autologous stem cells from the patient’s adipose tissues (fat cells) via an in-office minor liposuction procedure or bone marrow aspiration. We then concentrate the harvested stem cells into a fraction that can then be injected into a treatment area. The stem cells are then thought to act as factories of PRP (and other factors) and potentially differentiate into cells that regenerate needed tissues such as cartilage, tendon, muscle, or bone. Their effect is thought to last much longer than PRP alone. There is much controversy about the exact mechanisms by which stem cells help various orthopedic conditions, but many studies have shown evidence of improved pain relief and improved function after stem cell therapy. The technique of harvesting and processing stem cells is more expensive than other treatment options and is not covered by insurance carriers.