Board-certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist Dr. Steven Meier recently performed the very first outpatient stem cell lumbar intradiscal injection and platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy, reported PRWeb. The procedure was performed in partnership with the La Peer Health Systems for a patient with degenerative disc disease.
Advancements in the field of orthopedics
Meier has long been regarded as a leader in his field. Specializing in knee and shoulder orthopedic surgery, he uses the most advanced stem cell therapy techniques to provide cutting-edge treatments for his patients. His expertise in applying the most innovative orthopedic solutions continued to shine in this most recent feat.
The patient who underwent the procedure had been living with degenerative disc disease as well as chronic low back pain for an extended length of time, according to the press release. The Arthritis Foundation described degenerative disk disease as more of a condition than an actual disease, which occurs when the discs in the back begin to lose integrity and become smaller. Although this is part of the natural aging process, sometimes it can become bothersome. Instead of the healthy, flexible discs of a younger individual, these shrunken discs can cause varying degrees of pain.
The role of stem cells
Unlike other tissues in the body, once a disc has been injured or damaged it is unable to heal itself. According to the Arthritis Foundation this is due to the fact that very little blood circulation makes its way to the spine. Typically, treatments involve medications and invasive surgery. However, thanks to the healing powers of regenerative medicine, which can rely on the body's own stem cells for faster recovery, this patient didn't need to turn toward surgery. Instead, Meier used PRP therapy along with regenerative techniques to stimulate ligament regeneration and recovery.
"We anticipate a significant improvement for the patient within a short time," Meier said. "Stem cell treatment replaces the old paradigm of living with the condition. Instead, the patient's worn-out discs will heal and rebuild and supporting ligaments will strengthen. Chronic pain and suffering is eliminated and replaced by improved mobility and range of motion."
Dr. Steven Meier recently performed the first outpatient stem cell lumbar injection along with a… https://t.co/RjjZM4zszI
— Steven W. Meier, MD (@MeierOrthopedic) March 3, 2016
Although this new procedure was unique, the alternative of regenerative medicine itself has grown in popularity over the years and, according to PRWeb, has been very successful for osteoarthritis conditions, sports injuries and other chronic conditions.
The growth of regenerative medicine
The field of regenerative medicine has seen continued significant growth in recent years and was even considered medicine's saving-grace by Forbes magazine in November 2015. Stem cell research, clinical trials and dedicated doctors and scientists have helped make great strides in this field of medicine.
Perhaps one of the biggest pieces of regenerative medicine is the use of the body's own cells to replace and rejuvenate damaged tendons, ligaments, tissues and cartilage. According to the Center for Regenerative Medicine, the game-changing ability of these stem cells is the crux of new clinical trials. Chronic conditions involving the spine and joints have been treated and healed in an entirely new way.
Meier's most recent example of the power of stem cell therapy continued to pave the way forward.
"Stem cell therapy is proving to be a powerful treatment for patients with severe degenerative disc disease," said Meier. "The accompanying prolotherapy that we perform is effective with accelerating recovery and strengthening the surrounding ligaments. Considering the growing interest in regenerative medicine among the public and the high incidence of chronic low back pain, we expect to help many more patients in the future with this treatment."