Stem Cells used to Treat a Disc Bulge-A Case of Some Improvement, but Additional Treatment Likely Needed

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MF is a young active man from South America who has a L4-L5 disc bulge that causes leg symptoms and back pain.  He wanted to avoid surgery for the disc bulge, so he sought out the Regenexx-C Disc treatment, where we cultured his own stem cells to get greater numbers and then used imaging guidance to inject these into specific parts of his lumbar disc.  It’s important for any clinic offering investigational care to discuss it’s successes and it’s cases that didn’t quite get there (at least on the first try).  For MF, 4 months out form the procedure he’s only had a small improvement in symptoms and this is consistent with his pre and post MRI’s of the low back.  The images above are side views (sagittals) of his low back, showing some decrease in size of the disc bulge, but only by 20% or so.  The axial images below (top down view) again show a small decrease in size of the disc.  The reason he may not have gotten more relief may be because this L4-L5 disc is bulging both in the middle and out to the side, partially obstructing the foramen (the hole where the nerve exits).  We have recommended a second procedure for MF, as we believe that we have demonstrated some effect based on objective MRI imaging and believe that it may be possible to decrease the size of the bulge in this other sideways direction (into the foramen).

(Please note, this patient was treated with the Regenexx-C cultured stem cell procedure and not Regenexx-SD.  While Regenexx-SD does rely on the same stem cell type that was used to treat these patients and other clinics have reported good results using similar procedures that don’t rely on stem cell culturing, Regenexx-SD clinical effectiveness has not yet been established.)

Learn about Regenexx procedures for spine conditions.
Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications. View Profile

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NOTE: This blog post provides general information to help the reader better understand regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal health, and related subjects. All content provided in this blog, website, or any linked materials, including text, graphics, images, patient profiles, outcomes, and information, are not intended and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please always consult with a professional and certified healthcare provider to discuss if a treatment is right for you.

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