Stem Cell Treatment for Sports Injuries
Injury is common problem for an athlete or for anyone involved in professional sports. Repetitive use of certain body structures involved in a particular sport can put a lot of strain and stress leading to sports injuries. Whether it’s a sprain, strain, bruise, fracture, tear of a ligament or tendon, the use of stem cell has revolutionized how we treat sports injuries. Stem cells hasten the healing process of these injuries, getting you back on your game sooner.
via Wikimedia Commons
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are special cells that have not developed into specific types of cells, but have the potential to change into one. Stem cells can change into any type of cell like heart tissue, muscle, nerve, bone, ligaments, tendons, etc. Stem cells are also very important since they act as a repair system for our body. They can regenerate to replace aging tissues and can help heal injured tissues.
Where do we get stem cells?
Autologous stem cells can be extracted from the bone marrow, adipose tissues and from blood. Bone marrow extraction is typically done on the iliac crest or femur. Adipose derived stem cell is extracted by liposuction. Blood stem cell is harvested by blood extraction and then placed in a special apparatus to separate the stem cells from other blood cells. Autologous stem cells have the least risk since the cells are taken from the patient’s own body.
Also, stem cells can be harvested from other sources like the embryo, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord. Embryonic stem cells are harvested during the blastocyst stage in the early stage of the embryo. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent and could change to all primary germ layers, which means these cells can develop into all cell types of the body. Unfortunately, there are ethical issues involving the use of embryonic stem cells for medical use.
Amniotic and Umbilical cord derived stem cells on the other hand do not trigger any ethical issues and is now a common modality for treating all sorts of acute, chronic and degenerative injuries and conditions. Amniotic stem cells are multipotent and are very active, the advantage of using amniotic stem cells compared to other sources is its high concentration of cells; you get more stem cells per application compared to other sources of stem cells.
Procedure for stem cell therapy
Stem cell therapy simply involves directly injecting the stem cells into the injured site. Stem cell therapy can be used with all sorts of sports injuries and works best when the stem cells are introduced into the injured site as early as possible.
The Outcome of Stem Cell Therapy
The use of stem cells in sports medicine is nothing new and
it being practiced for a long time now. Stem cell therapy has been very
successful in treating athletes and their injuries and getting them back to
their team or game at the shortest possible time.
What is amniotic
stem cell therapy?
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