Stem Cell Treatment

Stem Cell Treatment with Dr. Daley

As we age, our bodies go through wear and tear from sports, jobs, and previous injuries. Joints and tendons absorb the bulk of the abuse and unfortunately these tissues have limited ability to heal.

Joints often develop Osteoarthritis (OA), which is a destruction of the cartilage, which is the protective tissue of the joint. Once the cartilage is too thin or gone, bones rub together and cause pain. Unfortunately, OA is most common in the joints we use the most such as the knees.

Dr. Daley is among a select group of physicians around the country to offer Stem Cell treatment to relieve knee osteoarthritis (OA) pain and chronic tendonitis. Patients can benefit from a unique non-surgical procedure using the patient’s own stem cells for injections or surgical implantation of those cells. This treatment uses your own body’s repair mechanisms and growth factors to promote healing.

Stem Cell Information

How can stem cells help me heal?

Adult stem cells have been helping your body heal your whole life. Your body naturally wants to help itself and most of the time it does. Unfortunately, there are some injuries that have a harder time healing especially as we get older. Taking a rich source of your own stem cells and concentrating them can enhance the healing capacity of your own body.

Where do adult stem cells reside in the body?

Stem cells reside in many tissues throughout your body, but the richest sources are found in your bone marrow. Fortunately, bone marrow can be harvested from several bones within your body and is relatively easy to access. Dr. Daley may choose to harvest cells from your bone marrow to treat your chronic knee pain.

Will the procedure regenerate cartilage in my joint?

There is some limited data suggesting an ability to regenerate cartilage in joints, but it also appears that whether or not the cartilage regenerates has little correlation with relief of pain. If there is significant spurring and significant loss of the joint space, there is little chance of cartilage regeneration.

Stem Cell Procedure

During the procedure, Dr. Daley withdraws some blood from your bone, which contains stem cells from the bone marrow. This can be obtained from the hip or knee. The technique is fast and efficient, but most importantly provides a way to harness your body’s most powerful regenerative cells. The stem cells are then either injected or surgically implanted into the patient’s damaged joint. The stem cells are from the patient’s own body so the risk of rejection is very low.

Does the treatment consist of one injection or multiple injections?

Typically we do one stem cell injection, followed up 6 weeks later with a platelet rich plasma injection (blood drawn from your arm). If you are coming from out of town, this will be taken into consideration and may be modified. Our protocol is continually evolving, so this is ultimately decided on a case-by-case basis.

What is the success rate of a Stem Cell injection?

Experience has suggested most patients will have significant relief of pain around 1-2 months post injection. This will often continue to improve for the first 3-6 months after the stem cell procedure. There are patients who will not get any improvement at all from this procedure, probably around 10-20%. This is still a new treatment, and thus there are not a lot of long-term outcomes studies completed so far.

How do I know if I am a candidate?

Stem cell implantation may be recommended for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Typically these patients have failed other treatment options including rest, medications, other injections and physical therapy and are not anxious for total knee replacement.

Who is not a candidate for Stem Cells?

  • Patient with a blood borne Cancer (such as lymphoma or leukemia), not in remission for at least 5 year
  • Certain other malignancies or blood borne diseases that you are being treated for
  • Patient with any current infection
  • Patient who uses a high dose of Coumadin
  • Patients with multiple medical issues may not be good candidates

What are the risks?

The cells used in your treatment are your own cells. The processing of the bone marrow is only to remove the unwanted cells and concentrate the wanted cells. This is done in a sterile device approved to centrifuge bone marrow. You probably will experience some discomfort during the bone marrow aspiration and the treatment, which may persist for a few days. Your doctor will do everything possible to minimize pain. Be sure to ask your doctor any questions you may have.

My Expectations

Before the Procedure:

  • Do not take anti-inflammatory medicines the 7 days before your procedure
  • Tell your doctor if you take blood thinners such as aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix or Xarelto
  • Be sure to be well hydrated and rested

After the Procedure:

  • You will have soreness due to the collection of bone marrow and at the injection site
  • Avoid the use of anti-inflammatory medicine within 3 weeks (you can take Tylenol or other medicine prescribed by your doctor)

Can I fly / drive home that day?

If you are flying (and you are not the pilot), you may fly home the same day, but there will be increased pain/discomfort after the procedure. If you are driving, you should have a driver, as there can be some mild to moderate discomfort in the first few hours following the procedure.

Stem Cell therapy is typically not covered by your insurance company. If you decide you want to explore this treatment option, you will first speak with one of our financial counselors. They assist you in determining if your insurance will pay for this procedure or if you will need to pay out of pocket for the treatment.

What should I do if I think I’m a candidate?

If you live near one of Dr. Daley’s offices in Hinsdale, New Lenox, or Joliet Illinois, we recommend scheduling an appointment for a consultation so that he can look at your radiology films (x-rays) and examine you to determine if you are a good candidate or not.

If you live more than 2-3 hours away, please work with your local health care professional to send us the following.

  • Recent x-ray and/or MRI (no more than a few months old)
  • Medical records (pertaining to your injury)

    Send your images and records to us for review – please include your name, address, phone number and email address. We will contact you with our recommendation within 7-10 business days of receiving your records.

  • Send your documents and images to:
    Robert J. Daley M.D.
    Attn: Linda-Ortho Stem Cells
    Hinsdale Orthopaedics
    550 West Ogden Avenue
    Hinsdale, Il 60521
  • For questions, contact Dr. Daley’s Office, 630-323-6116