Human Applications of MSCs
The process begins by isolating a person’s own (Autologous) Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from a sample of bone marrow drawn from their hip. The MSCs then divide in a natural growth medium that comes from the same person’s blood platelets. The result is to take the relatively small number of MSCs found in a sample bone marrow, say 2 million, and expand them to a population of 20 – 50+ million. With these numbers, substantial tissue growth is made possible. The MSCs are then injected with a small needle, under live x-ray, into areas of bone, cartilage, and ligament/ tendon damage.
Cartilage can be regrown in generalized arthritis and/or solitary cartilage defects in knees, shoulders, ankles, hips, and fingers. It can also grow to repair partial meniscus tears. Ligaments and tendon injuries, such as sprains or partial tears of the ACL, PCL and MCL of the knee, the rotator cuff and supporting ligaments of the shoulder, ankle and hand/wrist, as well as plantar fasciitis, golfer’s and tennis elbow, can also be repaired. Bone can be re-grown in chronic non-healing stress fractures or fractures of larger bones that have not healed in spite of casting or even surgery. Chrinic conditions such as avascular necrosis have also been successfully treated. Finally, some painful disc bulges in lumbar spine (low back) can be corrected to relieve back and leg pain.
People undergoing these treatments are back on their feet the same day. Those undergoing hip, knee, and ankle injections can begin walking longer distances after the first week. Their activity levels are gradually increased over the following month, with the expectation that they will be back to their pre injury activity level after three months