Emory Orthopaedics, Sports and Spine will start offering stem cell therapy at Emory Johns Creek Hospital in July to treat osteoarthritis.
Emory Healthcare sports medicine physician, Oluseun Olufade, MD, says he begins the treatment by applying a numbing medicine to the patient’s hip or stomach area and extracts cells from the patient’s bone marrow or adipose tissue. The stem cells are then separated using a centrifuge machine to provide a concentrated sample to inject into the patient’s damaged joint. Since the stem cells are from the patient’s own body, the rejection risk is low.
How can stem cell injections help me?
This treatment can reduce pain and provide long-lasting relief from chronic tendinitis, arthritis and cartilage damage in the joint.
“Stem cells harness the power of your own body and work to actually repair your damaged tissue,” says Olufade.
What is arthritis?
According to the Arthritis Foundation, osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition of the joints and affects 27 million Americans. The degenerative joint disease causes cartilage to wear down, bones to rub against one another and leads to stiffness and pain. Risk factors like age, obesity, previous joint injury and genetics contribute to the progression of osteoarthritis.
Alternative to surgery
Olufade, who is also an assistant professor in the Departments of Orthopaedics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation says stem cell therapy offers another alternative to patients who are facing joint-replacement surgery.
“Some patients who are seeking stem cell treatment have already tried physical therapy, cortisone shots, viscosupplementation and platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections without much success,” says Olufade.
How should I prepare for my treatment?
Patients should stop taking anti-inflammatory medication seven days before their injection. You shouldn’t take Aspirin, Motrin, Aleve and Naprosyn. Remember to tell your doctor if you are on any blood thinning medications. You should also drink as much water as you can on the day of your injection.
What can I expect afterwards?
Olufade says patients who undergo stem cell injections should expect to experience soreness for a few days, but many return to their normal activities shortly after the procedure. You may resume physical therapy one week after the treatment. Call your doctor immediately if you experience unbearable pain, bleeding, or signs of infection, such as streaking, fever, or chills.
The treatment is not covered by most medical insurance. Visit www.emoryhealthcare.org to learn more about stem cell injections or call 404-778-8081 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Olufade.
About Dr. Olufade
Dr. Olufade is board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Sports Medicine and Interventional Pain Medicine. He completed fellowship training in both Interventional Pain Medicine and Sports Medicine.
Dr. Olufade employs a comprehensive approach in the treatment of sports related injuries and spinal disorders by integrating physical therapy, orthotic prescription and minimally invasive procedures. He specializes also in concussion, tendinopathies and platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. He performs procedures such as fluoroscopic-guided spine injections and ultrasound guided peripheral joint injections. Dr. Olufade individualizes his plan with a focus on functional restoration.
Dr. Olufade has served as team physician, both in the professional MLS ranks with Philadelphia Union, and as a member of the U.S. national team physician pool. He has covered the U.S. 17-year-old men’s national team in international matches in France and Turkey.
Dr. Olufade has held many leadership roles including Chief Resident, Vice-President of Resident Physician Council of AAPM&R, President of his medical school class. He is currently the Vice President for John Creek Healthcare Association. He has authored multiple book chapters and presented at national conferences