03 Nov MARRAPOSE OR COMBINATION CELL THERAPY
Our mission is to offer autologous stem cell therapies for the treatment of pain that are safe, effective, legal, and affordable.
MARRAPOSE or COMBINATION CELL THERAPY
Our own tissues are rich in growth factors and stem cells. When used therapeutically, they are called “autologous stem cells”. “Autologous” means donor and recipient are the same person. Autologous stem cells are not embryonic stem cells; they are ‘adult’ stem cells, or more accurately, ‘tissue’ stem cells that come from your own body. The use of minimally manipulated autologous stem cells for musculoskeletal pain conditions is considered experimental, but it is neither controversial nor dangerous. The use of Marrapose is legal and safe.
MARRAPOSE IS — USED FOR:
Back and neck pain
Overuse and sports injuries
BONE MARROW ASPIRATE CONCENTRATE (BMAC)
Bone marrow is rich in growth factors and stem cells; primarily hematopoietic stem cells. Bone marrow is harvested from the iliac crest (low back/hip) using local anesthetic and a specialized needle. The bone needle is placed using X-Ray guidance to ensure safety and maximum cell harvest. It is important to understand that bone marrow harvesting for BMAC is vastly different from bone marrow harvesting for transfusion for cancer therapies. In bone marrow harvesting for transfusion, a surgeon removes a very large amount of bone marrow from many puncture sites. BMAC requires only a very small amount of bone marrow from one or two puncture sites. The procedure is extremely safe; we have performed many of them without a single adverse outcome. Surprisingly, it is not painful, takes under twenty minutes, and causes only mild soreness afterward. It has an excellent safety profile.
ADIPOSE-DERIVED TISSUE STROMAL VASCULAR FRACTION (SVF)
Adipose tissue (fat) consists of adipocytes (fat cells) and the adipose-derived stromal vascular fraction (SVF). The SVF is made up largely of mesenchymal cells. In addition to the potential therapeutic benefit of the SVF, when injected into joints, the adipocytes have the potential to act as a scaffold to allow for regeneration of connective tissue to occur. Fat harvesting for SVF therapy is done with a very simple process called lipoaspiration. It is important to understand that lipoaspiration is vastly different from liposuction. Liposuction is performed by a plastic surgeon that removes a very large volume of fat for a cosmetic result. Lipoaspiration uses a small amount of local anesthetic and a small instrument slightly larger than a hypodermic needle to remove a very small amount of fat, and does not render any visible change in appearance. The fat is then concentrated using a simple, sterile gravity method using only sterile saline to rinse the tissue. The entire process is painless and takes about 45 minutes.
COMBINING BONE MARROW ASPIRATE CONCENTRATE WITH ADIPOSE
In 2006, David Crane, M.D. and Robert Alexander, M.D. first blended bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) with adipose tissue into a localized injection for the treatment of musculoskeletal pain conditions. Crane and Alexander’s thinking was that the combination of the two tissues could potentially render a superior outcome than either of the tissues individually. Their clinical experience supported the hypothesis. In 2009, orthopedic surgeon Joe Purita, M.D. learned this elegant procedure from Dr. Crane’s group and began offering it to his patients. In 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, the team at Gecko Joint and Spine studied these techniques through the AAOM and AOAPRM to learn the protocols.
Of the small number of doctors performing autologous stem cell therapies in the US, few of them combine BMAC with adipose. Most prolotherapists use platelet rich plasma with adipose only and most surgeons use BMAC only. Many who use adipose claim it to be superior to bone marrow and point to the higher volume of stem cells in adipose. Many who use bone marrow claim bone marrow to be superior to adipose and point to the much larger body of scientific data supporting bone marrow’s use. The truth is, there is not currently sufficient research to definitively say that one is superior to the other. Gecko Joint and Spine is among the very small number of clinics in the US who combine BMAC with adipose. Although we do not yet have publishable data, we have been pleased with our degree of patient satisfaction since early 2010.