Odessa physician offering stem cell therapy – Odessa American

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Aug 08 2017

An Odessa physician who specializes in pain management has begun offering stem cell therapy for inflammation from a variety of arthritis.

Dr. Mandeep Othee of ProCare Interventional Pain Medicine, said stem cell therapy has been around since as early as 1938. It has recently been used to stem inflammation, wound care and post-surgical use to help in healing.

The purpose for me is going to be for inflammation for knee arthritis, shoulder arthritis any sort of arthritic process in the neck, the back; any part of the body, Othee said.

Othee said hes always interested in cutting-edge treatments. As associate medical director of In-Patient Rehabilitation at Medical Center Hospital, Othee oversees care for patients with a variety of orthopedic needs, ranging from stroke patients to those recovering from joint replacement surgery, the hospital website said.

He also specializes in diagnosing and treating neck and low-back pain.

The source of the amniotic stem cells is healthy women who have had C-sections who donate their amniotic fluid to a tissue bank. Othee said it is fully regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the cells are purified and frozen to preserve them.

The cells provide cushioning, support and lubrication to a developing fetus in the womb.

Its a similar process in the body, so for example, if we take that same stem cell and inject it into the patients knee, or shoulder, or back, or neck it provides the same cushioning, support, lubrication and inflammation reduction that it does in the developing fetus, Othee said.

He added that there are 226 growth factors in the fluid itself, which includes proteins, lipids electrolytes and the magic element of hyaluronic acid.

Thats the typical injection a patient receives in an orthopedic surgeons office. It basically heals the area, provides collagen synthesis and helps with the re-growth of that lost cartilage , Othee said.

Cartilage wears down over time in the joints and injecting the stem cells greatly increases the patients own healing response. Othee said it works 100,000 times better than Platelet Rich Plasma, which is taking a patients own platelets, spinning it down, putting it into a concentrated format and injecting into the patients knee, shoulder, neck or back, Othee said.

Typically, Othee said hes read studies have shown 30, 90 and 100-day responses that are better than steroid shots or hyaluronic acid injections.

It can help patients avoid or delay joint replacement surgeries.

The product he chose is OrthoFlo made by MiMedx.

I chose them because theyre the biggest and the best, Othee said. Their company specializes in different products. One is OrthoFlo. It contains pro-growth factors (and) no tissue fragments or dead cells. It is highly purified human amniotic fluid.

He noted that thousands of injections have been administered over the last five to 15 years and no reactions, side effects or infections have been reported that hes read about.

Currently, no insurance companies pay for the stem cell therapy, but athletes have been getting these for years in other countries, such as Germany and England, and larger cities such as Houston and Dallas. The cost is $2,200 per injection from Othee.

The patient may be sore for a day or two after the stem cell injection and they are able to walk out of the office without a problem. For any sort of knee injections, Othee said a patient may want to wait a week to start running or doing other activities.

Othee said he usually asks patients to stop taking anti-inflammatory medicine for at least seven days before and after the treatment.

He added that there is no age limit on people who could receive stem cell therapy.

Othee said patients may have tried steroid shots, hyaluronic acid, or platelet rich plasma before stem cell therapy. However, they could skip right to stem cell therapy, he added.

Othee said he has spoken to other doctors with patients who have gone straight to stem cell therapy and it works.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Vijay Borra doesnt do stem cell injections. He said he thinks research into stem cells just as an injection for osteoarthritis is still in its infancy.

I think a lot of research now is going into using stem cells to generate chondrocytes, which are cartilage to see if we can plug in focal cartilage deficits. Thats where all the research is now. As far as just injecting stem cells into the joint, were still at the very early stages and theres still very little data as to whether it actually works or not, Borra said.

Borra added that there is a lot of good data using that to generate cartilage.

Theres some data there can be used to plug defects. Its an option for people who have done everything like a steroid or hyaluronic gel injections. Theyve done all that and they dont want a knee replacement, or they have too many medical issues and theyre not a candidate. Then it is an option. If theres nothing else, then stem cell is an option, Borra said.

He added that stem cell therapy is not covered by most insurance plans and the out-of-pocket pay is very high.

Its really like an end-stage resort for someone who doesnt want surgery. Theres really no down side. Its not going to do any damage, so you can always try to see if it helps, Borra said.

When patients come to see him, Borra said he first gives them an x-ray to see what the problem is. Most of the time, its osteoarthritis.

By the time they come to Borra, he said the patient has tried anti-inflammatories, weight loss and therapy.

Theyve already done all that, so I start off with a steroid injection. If it works five, six months some people choose to do two or three a year. If it doesnt work, the next option is gel injections, hyaluronic acid, which is like artificial joint fluid, Borra said.

He said Othee also offers nerve blocks.

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Odessa physician offering stem cell therapy - Odessa American

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