What Stem Cell Types are Doctors Using to Treat Orthopedic Conditions?

stem cell types for orthopedics infographic

While it may come as a surprise to you, a stem cell from fat doesn’t equal a stem cell from bone marrow when it comes to repairing or helping orthopedic problems.  So what stem cell types for orthopedics are best?  Despite what you may think, the source of the stem cells is a big deal. If you have knee, hip, shoulder, or ankle arthritis, a quick search of the internet can find any number of clinics springing up daily to offer stem cell injections. The same holds true if you have epicondylitis (tennis elbow) or a rotator cuff tear. Being the first clinic in the United States to use stem cells to treat orthopedic problems, we’ve been fascinated to see what’s being offered. However, knowing the research as we do and creating much of it ourselves, we’ve also been dumbfounded about why certain clinics are using various stem cell types to treat orthopedic injuries with little or no published research showing that it might or does work. While we don’t believe that patients are best served by only using therapies that have been tested through drug type clinical trials, some research is needed to help guide clinical decisions. As a result, I spent several hours this weekend putting together an infographic on just how much research is out there in orthopedics about using various stem cell types. Turns out, as we’ve known for awhile, bone marrow stem cells (both cultured and same day) have extensive published research (not yet level 1). Fat stem cells have very, very little . Umbilical cord stem cells and amniotic fluid also have almost no research backing. Take a look at the stem cell types inforgraphic, as this will both help explain what’s being offered in orthopedic stem cell treatments and the research (or lack thereof) behind using those type of cells.

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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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