Spring 2010 — Drs. Tortland and Kozar are the first in the state to begin using autologous adult stem cell injections for the treatment of joint arthritis and severe muscle and tendon injuries. Unlike embryonic stem cells, which so far have failed to yield any useful therapies and actually can cause deadly tumor formation, adult stem cells are currently being used in over 200 successful therapies with minimal risk factors.
Adult stem cells are obtained from several sources, including bone marrow and fat tissue. The harvested stem cells are then highly concentrated and injected into the damaged area. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells–they have not become mature specialized cells. This means they have the potential to become many different types of cells. “Autologous” means the cells are taken from one part of the body and used in another part of the body of the same person. Stem cells taken from one person are not used in another person.
Currently Drs. Tortland and Kozar are using stem cell injections either in patients who have seen some response to PRP injections, but want to try a more aggressive approach, or in cases of very large muscle injuries.
Stem cell injections are not covered by insurance.