The concept of removing fatty tissue from one part of the body and applying it to another has been a standard practice in the plastic and cosmetic surgery industry for a long time. And while the process of eliminating unwanted fat and putting it to good use somewhere else purely for aesthetic purposes may already sound like the perfect use for it, it turns out that the contents of human fat tissue can be useful for much more than obtaining an Angelina Jolie pout, or Johnny Depp cheekbones.
Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapy for Hand Injuries in Phoenix
If you follow professional sports, whether it is baseball, basketball, football, or tennis, chances are you may already be familiar with the use of regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy to treat sports injuries and chronic pain in professional athletes. Every team from the New York Yankees to the Arizona Diamondbacks has had to deal with a new or recurring injury that has forced a valuable player to miss a series of games, sometimes even an entire season due to an injury.
When conservative treatments like rest and physical therapy are insufficient, or fail to heal a broken bone or damaged muscle or ligament, surgery is usually the next option, although it is usually reserved as a last resort in many cases because there are limits as to what surgery can accomplish. In some cases, it can potentially make the problem worse.
Over the last few decades, stem cells have been gaining more and more attention due to their ability to help speed up the healing process and regenerate new, healthy tissue. How? Known as undifferentiated cells, stem cells can develop into more specific types of tissue, like cartilage, tendons, bone, and muscle. Regenerative medicine allows hand surgeon Dr. Michael Fitzmaurice to isolate stem cells and use the body’s own growth factors to help turbo charge the healing process in a minimally invasive procedure, which can be used either instead of surgery, or as a supplement to it.
It has been discovered that fat (adipose) tissue contains stem cells which can be used to help treat a broad range of injuries and chronic conditions. There are different types of stem cells found throughout the body. Although commonly associated with prenatal tissue, adults continue to produce a variety of undifferentiated cells that can be used in regenerative medicine. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are commonly used in orthopedic injuries. They are found in the bone marrow, making the procedure to extract them a bit more involved.
Benefits of Fat Tissue Stem Cells for Hand and Nerve Injuries
One of the many benefits of treating hand injuries with stem cell therapy at the Fitzmaurice Hand Institute in Phoenix is that the procedure is minimally invasive and fairly straightforward. With a small liposuction procedure performed under a local anesthetic, Dr. Fitzmaurice extracts a small amount of fat tissue, which is then processed through a centrifuge to help separate the stem cells, which are then applied to the injured joint or tissue through a standard injection. The Fitzmaurice Hand Institute in Phoenix offers stem cell therapy to treat a range of hand, nerve, and joint injuries, including:
- Joint damage and chronic pain
- Nerve injury / nerve compression
- Hand rejuvenation
Common conditions, like carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger thumb, which affect millions of Americans every year, can significantly disrupt and diminish a person’s quality of life, from work to recreational and social activities, depending on the severity. In the past, invasive treatment methods that often provided temporary or partial relief from symptoms led many people to skip treatment and live with unnecessary pain and limited mobility out of fear that the treatment would be ineffective, or worse than the symptoms themselves.
With stem cell therapy and the Endotech minimally invasive hand surgery technology, Dr. Fitzmaurice has revolutionized the treatment and recovery options for the most common hand and wrist injuries and conditions, including:
- Thumb arthritis
- Trigger thumb
- Musician hand injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Trigger finger
- Tennis elbow
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
- Dupuytren’s contracture
- De Quervain’s disease
- Lumps and masses (lipomas, Ganglion Cyst, fibroma, neuroma, giant cell tumor)
In addition to stem cells from fat tissue, other forms of regenerative therapy include PRP (platelet rich plasma), hyaluronic acid injections, prolotherapy, and amniotic stem cell therapy, all of which use the body’s natural wound healing mechanisms to enhance treatment.
Minimally Invasive Hand Surgery and Regenerative Medicine in Phoenix
The Fitzmaurice Hand Institute is the industry leader in minimally invasive, effective treatment for hand injuries and nerve conditions. To learn more about managing your arthritis symptoms or chronic joint pain with stem cell therapy, contact Dr. Fitzmaurice at 480-568-1535 to request a consultation today.