Stem cell treatments for spinal stenosis include non-surgical procedures in which the stem-cells are injected into the lower back of the patient, near the site of the stenosis, with the purpose of those cells regenerating the damaged part of the spine. This helps relieve the pain that the patients are experiencing, as well as other symptoms, such as tingling sensations and weakness in legs or arms. This treatment has generated a lot of interest from patients, primarily because it is a non-invasive solution, as opposed to surgery and fusion.
Stem cells treatments mostly involve injecting the cells in the patient’s body, which then works with the bodies’ own immune system to repair whatever damage needs repairing and to grow new cells for the particular organ that is targeted. In the case of this treatment, the stem cells work with the immune system to restore the spinal canal back to its original width.
Although most people are born with small spinal canals, some causes can shrink this space even further, which leads to spinal stenosis. The growth that has reduced the space in the canal presses the spinal cord or the nerves, which then prompts the pains in the leg or arm, depending on the nerve in question. Most common causes for this are:
The symptoms of spinal stenosis can be usually felt in the neck and the lower back. Symptoms are not always present (as the nerve or the cord may not be impacted as much even if there is a stenosis), but if they are, they are ubiquitous: stiffness, numbness of limbs and back pain. Other, more specific symptoms include:
If you have any of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor. In case you have a loss of bladder and bowel control, visit your doctor immediately, as it can be serious.
The stem cell treatment for spinal stenosis is composed of two parts: extracting your own stem cells from the bone marrow, and then re-injecting them into the part of the body where their help is needed, which is, in this case, your lower spine. Once the stem cells enter your body, they begin communicating with your immune system and repairing the damage, both by bringing more oxygen to the place (everything heals with oxygen) and by multiplying and replacing the dead cells.
The extraction of stem cells is done via bone marrow aspiration, which includes numbing your hip and inserting a small needle into the hip bone to take a small bone marrow sample. This procedure does not hurt at all, and was, in fact, described by patients as a comfortable process.
The next part of the protocol is a series of injections which then bring those stem cells back to the place where they are needed. This takes up to one week. Once this is finished, you will be sent home to recover. After the procedure, the patients may feel an even worse pain for some time, but, usually, after three weeks, the pain is significantly relieved and it should continue to progressively be relieved even more for up to three months. Most patients report not having any pain for up to two years after the procedure.
The benefits of choosing this treatment
The main benefit of the stem cell therapy for spinal stenosis is the fact that the body is using its own building materials to repair itself. It is a natural process of the body healing itself. The doctors only give it a little nudge so that it goes the right way and that the cells are assigned where they are needed.
Also, this procedure seems to be preferable to other invasive methods of dealing with spinal stenosis, especially surgery and fusion, which are the final options in particularly bad cases of spinal stenosis. This is particularly important because stem cell treatment uses body’s own stem cells, while both fusion and surgery involve placing artificial devices into the spine.
The cost of Stem Cell Treatments for Spinal Stenosis
The average cost around the world for a stem cell treatment is around $10,000. However, there is no standardization in the prices of stem cell treatments, which means that exact prices are unavailable and depend on the clinic and the medical professionals doing the treatment.
In some countries, where the cost of living and medical expenses are much lower than in the developed world, it might be possible to find stem cell treatments for spinal stenosis which are cheaper than in the West.
Choosing the right clinic and treatment
When choosing a treatment for spinal stenosis, what you should be looking for is a physician who specializes in the field of regenerative medicine, specifically PRP and stem cell therapy. The physician that you need will have experience with using autologous cells (the ones which are extracted from bone marrow in your hip, or adipose – from your fat cells) and will have done the procedure before. You might also read the reviews of the former patients around the internet and research the topic of spinal stenosis treatment using stem cells, because a lot of people have the same problem and you can see the various solutions that they’ve found.
If you are already suffering from spinal stenosis and want to learn more about how stem cell therapy can work for you then use the button below:
Stem Cell Therapy Abroad