Regenerative Medicine Part III:
Stem cell therapy has many different classifications. Physicians have two different choices with accessing these cells. They can take it from the patient through a bone marrow aspirate or they can get it from companies that use post birth placental tissue and umbilical cord tissue to harvest the cells. In this section we will discuss Bone Marrow Aspirate as a way to harvest mesenchymal stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can turn into a variety of cells including; bone cells, cartilage cells, muscle cells and fat cells. The ability of differentiation decreases with the patients age. In the foot and ankle, a bone marrow aspirate can be taken from the heel bone and this concentrated fluid is then re-injected into the patient.
This has been shown in studies to decrease pain and increase functionality.