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Stem Cell Injections for the Degenerative Joint
Dr. Richard Sayegh
Dr. Sayegh has been involved in athletics and body building for more than 30 years.
He has been teaching and practicing Sports Medicine since 1985, with an emphasis in
Manipulation Under Anesthesia.
Chiropractic, sports medicine, applied kinesiology soft tissue techniques, clinical and
rehabilative therapy, nutritional counseling and fitness training.
Worker's compensation, qualified medical examiner, private insurance, personal
injury, private fitness and rehabilitation facility with certified trainers. Learning center for Southern California
University of Health Science and Cleveland Chiropractic College.
Licensed massage therapist with extensive knowledge in neuromuscular re-education, reflexology,
Swedish massage, joint mobilization, myofascial release techniques, cranial-sacral therapy, shiatsu and
In new research, doctors note that Mesenchymal stem cells are known to have a potential for
articular cartilage regeneration. Now doctors have found that for the treatment of generalized cartilage
loss in osteoarthritis, an alternative delivery strategy would be more appropriate and that is injection
therapy. For those of us affected by osteoarthritis we know the impact it can have on quality of life. The
research surrounding an effective treatment for osteoarthritis has yet to find an approved
pharmacological intervention, biologic therapy or procedure that prevents the progressive destruction
of the osteoarthritis joint. Stem cell injections for osteoarthritis can help maintenance healthy tissues by
acting as repair cells or to reduce inflammation. The injection of Mesenchymal stem cells has produced
promising outcomes in preclinical models of joint disease.
Researching stem cell injections for osteoarthritis
In dealing with knee osteoarthritis, research notes that conventional treatments for
osteoarthritis have demonstrated only modest clinical benefits and without cartilage repair. However,
what research is also confirming is that stem cell therapies have shown encouraging results. They have
confirmed feasibility and safety and strong indications of clinical efficacy were identified. Patients
exhibited rapid and progressive improvement. The intervention is simple, does not require
hospitalization or surgery, provides pain relief, and significantly improves cartilage quality.
Advancements in Treating Chronic Joint Pain with Stem Cells
If you suffer from crippling, degenerative joint disease – stem cell therapy may be the
breakthrough treatment you are looking for. S.M.A.R.T Spine Institute and Surgery Center utilizes
advanced, non-surgical options for degenerative joint disease, arthritis, tendonitis, and for quick, strong
repair of sports’ related injuries. This now includes Stem Cell Therapy for patients coming to our office.
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Mesenchymal stem cells are found in the bone marrow, fat, and possibly in other tissues and are
responsible for rebuilding and regenerating the body. These stem cells help the body renew and heal
itself. Mesenchymal stem cells are also able to differentiate into ligaments, tendons, and cartilage, and
maintain a special role in the non-surgical treatment of osteoarthritis, treatment of chronic pain, and
What is so promising is that that stem cells may have the potential to prevent a knee, hip,
shoulder or ankle replacement or fusion, repair a torn rotator cuff or labrum, and heal a meniscus tear
of the knee. Our body possesses the power of repair in the stem cell, but it often will need to be
concentrated in an area of injury or chronic degeneration to be truly effective.
Symptoms associated with the following conditions possibly treated by Stem cell injections for
Rotator cuff tendonitis
Labral tears of the hip and shoulder
Chronic epicondylitis (tennis and golfer’s elbow)
Degenerative disc disease
Chronic neck and back pain
Post concussion syndrome
Chronic groin and hamstring strains
Avascular necrosis of the hip
Stem cell therapy is performed by extracting stem cells from the body, purifying them, and then
injecting them back into the damaged area. The stem cells cannot work alone, and they require help
from growth and support factors found in other tissues and blood.
The area of injury or arthritis is treated with both stem cells and platelet rich plasma (PRP). If
stem cells are the seeds in the lawn, PRP is the fertilizer that helps the lawn grows. PRP, a combination
of growth factors and platelets naturally found in the body, provides cell signals and nourishment to
help the stem cells flourish and develop into new joints, ligaments, tendons, and other body parts. PRP
not only triggers stem cell development, but can also help stem cells regenerate on their own inside the
body, and can also attract circulating stem cells to the area of injury. We have used PRP alone in the
treatment of many injuries and pain problems.
Most cases of stem cell and PRP treatments are successful, and avoid the pain, disability, down
time, and risk associated with major surgery. There is minimal recovery from a stem cell or PRP
treatment, usually mediated by soreness in the area that was treated, and there is also a risk of bruising.
There have been no reports of serious adverse effects in the scientific literature when adult
mesenchymal stem cells are used in these procedures. Afterwards, the patient is encouraged to use the
joint normally, and follow up treatments of PRP are given in monthly intervals to continue to allow the
stem cells to do their work. Since stem cell treatment is very safe, it can be repeated in the joint if
necessary to obtain optimal results. Also, having treatment with stem cells would not make a person
ineligible for surgery.
Our treatment plan of joint injuries and chronic pain is also unique when compared to other
practices. We have specialized, in the non-surgical treatment of joint injuries. A holistic view of
orthopedics is also followed in several ways, as we look not only at the injured joint, but at where the
problem originates, whether that is with a tilt in the pelvis, abnormal gait (walking cycle), and spinal
misalignment or, for example, with acquired weakness in the foot leading to excessive pronation and a
drop in the arch.
Furthermore, the whole person is treated at S.M.A.R.T Spine Institute and Surgery Center,
where a full discussion of diet, exercise, lifestyle, and supplementation is reviewed. We believe a
comprehensive and cohesive approach to joint injury will yield the greatest results and help to prevent
surgery. We have had the opportunity to treat anyone from professional athletes to patients who have
suffered for decades with chronic pain, and invite you to schedule a consultation with us to see how we
can help you.
131 E. Huntington Drive
Arcadia, CA 91006
Phone: 626.445.0326, Fax: 626.445.5155