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​Is Stem Cell Treatment Right for Sports Injuries?

Posted at 4:20 PM on Oct 30, 2018


Stem cell treatment is an emerging form of therapy in musculoskeletal medicine. While many forms of stem cell therapy remain outside the mainstream, treatments that employ a patient’s own stem cells are showing positive results across the spectrum of joint pain.

In fact, recent studies have shown Stem cell treatment may aid in pain relief and may help to inhibit further joint inflammation.

Stem Cell Treatment for Athletes

At Twin Cities Pain & Regenerative Medicine we often see competitive athletes and weekend warriors alike with symptoms that mimic early onset arthritis, including pain in the knees, elbows, and shoulders.

The extent of the injuries these athletes are facing often is enough to require invasive surgery that could sideline them for months as they rehab. And this is where stem cell treatment can be most effective.

Injuries in athletes that can be treated with stem cells include muscle strains, inflamed joints, ligament sprains, and signs of early osteoarthritis. Today, the most widely accepted form of stem cell treatment is the use of adipose (fat) based stem cells or those obtained from a patient’s own bone marrow.

Stem cells obtained from third-parties or embryonic stem cells do not achieve as positive results as those harvested from the patient receiving treatment. At Twin Cities Pain & Regenerative Medicine we treat patients with stem cells harvested from the bone marrow of the hip, as we have found this to produce the best results.

Can Athletes Avoid Surgery with Stem Cell Treatment?

This is a question we often receive from athletes who are injured and are looking to get back on the playing field as quickly as possible. The answer is that every athlete is different and so is every injury.

It is true that the recovery time for stem cell treatment is a fraction of traditional knee, elbow, shoulder or joint surgery. However, some injuries may be so severe or unique that stem cell treatment won’t be completely effective in repairing the damage.

The good news is that because stem cell treatment rarely negatively impacts a patient, if surgery is determined to be the only course for full recovery, the stem cell treatment won’t stand in the way of that. Furthermore, stem cell treatment can also be used in connection with traditional surgeries to aid in recovery.

Stem cell therapy does not work for everyone. At this time, the FDA has not approved it as a treatment for musculoskeletal conditions.

About Twin Cities Pain & Regenerative Medicine

Twin Cities Pain & Regenerative Medicine is a leading provider of stem cell treatment for athletes in Minneapolis and the entire upper Midwest. Our Medical Director, Dr. Constantin Starchook, is at the forefront of stem cell treatment for many forms of pain, including that of the back, knees, elbows and other joints.

We are currently accepting new patients. If you are an athlete with an injury who may benefit from stem cell treatment, contact us today to schedule a consultation.