Stem Cell & PRP Therapy

Dr. Steve Meadows is Palm Beach County’s leading expert in stem cell and PRP therapy, which he offers at The Stem Cell Therapy Center at South Palm Orthopedics. Learn more about these revolutionary treatments below.

To find out of you are a candidate for stem cell or PRP therapy, request a consultation with Dr. Meadows or call (561) 496-6622 to schedule your appointment.

Stem Cell Therapy

What is stem cell therapy?

Stem cell therapy is a nonsurgical procedure that can relieve the pain of arthritis and chronic tendonitis and heal injuries such as partial ligament and tendon tears.

Only a select group of qualified physicians around the country offers stem cell therapy, and Dr. Meadows is pleased to offer this procedure at South Palm Orthopedics. He has been performing stem cell treatments since 2008.

Also known as regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy promotes the regeneration of new, healthy tissue. The procedure involves injecting stem cells directly into the site of injury. The stem cells then stimulate your body's own repair mechanisms and growth factors to promote healing.

Patients often undergo stem cell therapy in lieu of surgery, or when conservative treatments such as physical therapy or medications have not worked to relieve their pain.

Regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy is a major breakthrough in natural healing. While it has been used in dentistry and other medical specialties for a while, stem cell therapy as it applies to orthopedics, sports medicine, and rehabilitation is in its infancy.

What does stem cell therapy treat?

Stem cell therapy is a non-surgical treatment option that can decrease pain and provide long-lasting relief from musculoskeletal injuries and conditions such as tendon and ligament injuries. If you have any of the following conditions, we recommend seeing Dr. Steve Meadows at South Palm Orthopedics in Delray Beach, Florida for a consultation.

Partial Tendon Tears

  • Patella (Knee) 
  • Quadriceps (Thigh) 
  • Achilles (Ankle) 
  • Rotator Cuff (Shoulder) 
  • Hip 
  • Wrist

Partial Ligament Tears

  • Knee Cruciate Ligaments (ACL, PCL) 
  • Knee Collateral Ligaments (MCL, LCL) 
  • Elbow Medial and Lateral Ligaments 
  • Ankle 
  • Wrist

Stem cell therapy is also used to treat joint pain from arthritis or local cartilage injury. While stem cell injections do not cure these problems, they can provide effective pain relief. Stem cell therapy is beneficial for wound healing, as well.

Is stem cell therapy right for me?

Because no two patients’ bodies are alike, each patient may respond differently to stem cell therapy. For many of Dr. Meadows’ patients, stem cell therapy has been shown to expedite healing. It is a safe, low-risk procedure that many turn to as a non-surgical alternative to orthopedic surgery.

Stem cell therapy has been shown to help heal soft tissue injuries such as tendon, ligament, or cartilage damage. If you have osteoarthritis that has not responded to other treatments such as prescription medication or physical therapy, and you want to avoid surgery, you may consider treatment with stem cell therapy. For severe injuries that require surgery, such as completely torn ligaments or tendons, stem cell therapy may be used in conjunction with orthopedic surgery to speed up recovery.

If you are concerned about the type of stem cells used, know that we do not use embryonic stem cells. We only use placental matrix-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). These stem cells are harvested from a tissue in the placenta called chorion, which comes from the placenta of mothers giving birth by C-section.

Placental mesenchymal stem cells are involved in forming bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles and are easily recognized by the immune system, reducing any potential for problems.

What is the procedure?

Dr. Meadows performs stem cell therapy in his South Palm Orthopedics office in Delray Beach, Florida, where the placental-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are processed and prepared before your appointment. The stem cells will be injected directly into the area of your pain or injury (joint, muscle, ligament, or tendon). Depending on the location, you may receive local anesthesia to prevent pain during the injection.

Am I a candidate for stem cell therapy?

People of all ages and activity levels can benefit from regenerative medicine treatments such as stem cell therapy and PRP therapy. Anyone with osteoarthritis or tendon or ligament injuries may be a candidate for stem cell therapy. Even if your arthritis is so severe that you have no cartilage left in your joint, stem cell therapy may be able to decrease your pain and postpone your need for joint replacement surgery.

And if you do require eventually need joint replacement surgery, or the nature of your tendon or ligament injury requires orthopedic surgery, stem cell therapy can help accelerate the healing process after surgery.

However, you may not be a good candidate for stem cell therapy if:

  • You have a cancer of the blood, such as lymphoma or leukemia, that is not in remission for at least 5 years 
  • You have certain other cancers or blood diseases 
  • You have a current infection 
  • You use Coumadin or blood thinners 
  • You take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen regularly (you may need to stop taking these for several days prior to treatment) 
  • You have a chronic illness

Stem cell history and studies

In an embryo, stem cells contain a genetic code that signals what the cell will become – blood, skin, an organ, an arm or leg, etc. In the field of regenerative medicine, stem cells derived from other sources can be used to help the body heal. When stem cells are placed at the area of injury, they become like the cells that make up the tissue, and they stimulate the body to regenerate healthy tissue.

History of Stem Cell Studies and Treatments

Regenerative medicine was born with the discovery of stem cells in 1981. In recent years, the field of regenerative medicine has exploded, with uses for stem cell therapy and PRP therapy being studied for numerous medical and dental conditions.

1981: British researcher Martin Evans first identified stem cells in mice at the University of Cambridge (now Cardiff University)

Late 1990s: American researchers James Thomason (University of Wisconsin) and John Gearhart (Johns Hopkins University) isolated embryonic stem cells in a lab.

2001: To prevent further destruction of human embryos, President George W. Bush restricted stem cell research.

2007: Evans and two other researchers, Mario Capechi and Oliver Smithies, were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work with genetics and stem cells.

2009: President Obama lifted some stem cell research restrictions. Since then, research and stem cell treatments have made headlines every year.

2009: A study conducted by the Children’s Hospital & Research Center in Oakland used stem cells from a woman’s placenta after her baby was born. The study was published in Experimental Biology and Medicine (June 2009).

2010: A trial by Geron of Menlo Park, California, used stem cell therapy to treat a spinal injury.

2011: Peyton Manning and Rick Perry (Governor of Texas) received stem cell treatment for a spine injury.

2012: Stem cell therapy was being used to treat blindness.

2014: Researchers from around the globe had discovered how to turn adult cells back into stem cells so that human embryos were not being destroyed.

Today, as many as 4,500 human clinical trials for regenerative medicine are in progress, studying the use of stem cells in the treatment of heart disease, diabetes, neurological diseases, musculoskeletal conditions, blood cancers, and more.

Future of Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy research is promising. With thousands of human clinical trials in progress, it is a matter of time before studies demonstrate enough positive results to win FDA approval and gain acceptance among insurance companies as an effective non-surgical treatment for a number of orthopedic conditions.

PRP Therapy

What is PRP therapy?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a revolutionary new treatment that relieves pain and promotes long-lasting healing of musculoskeletal conditions. Dr. Steve Meadows offers this amazing noninvasive procedure at his private practice, South Palm Orthopedics.

PRP therapy is a cutting-edge procedure that is revolutionizing the field of orthopedic medicine. PRP therapy uses components of the body's own blood cells to formulate a customized "cocktail" that stimulates the natural healing process in certain orthopedic conditions.

The body's first response to any soft tissue injury is to deliver platelet cells. Filled with healing and growth factors, platelets jump start the repair process and attract the essential aid of stem cells. PRP therapy's natural healing process magnifies the body's efforts by delivering a higher concentration of platelets through a simple injection.

PRP therapy is associated with reduction in pain and faster healing, and has lower risks and lower costs than surgery.

What does PRP therapy treat?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a rapidly emerging technique that is showing exciting potential with osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder, hip, and spine. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative bone disease that causes loss of mobility and chronic pain and stiffness. It can be quite debilitating for more than 21 million Americans.

PRP therapy is also showing promising results in rotator cuff tears, chronic plantar fasciitis, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, tennis elbow, ankle sprains, tendonitis, and ligament sprains.

What are the benefits of PRP therapy?

A main benefit of PRP therapy is that it provides pain relief and healing, and it can eliminate the need for surgery and prolonged recovery. It may also be used as a treatment for some people who are not candidates for surgery.

PRP therapy is a low-risk noninvasive procedure. It uses the body's own cells and natural biological healing process. The concentrated platelet-rich plasma that is injected into and around the point of injury jump starts and significantly strengthens the body's natural healing process.

Recovery with PRP therapy is much faster than with surgery, often by many months. Because your own blood is used, there is no risk of a transmissible infection and a very low risk of allergic reaction.

Dr. Meadows and PRP therapy

Dr. Meadows is offering the revolutionary PRP therapy to patients and has already seen excellent results in patients with chronic joint problems, shoulder problems, tennis elbow, and knee conditions.

Dr. Meadows’ interest in PRP therapy demonstrates his commitment to bringing his patients scientifically based modalities that are on the leading edge of orthopedic medicine. Ask Dr. Meadows if you are a candidate for PRP therapy.

Does insurance cover PRP therapy?

Insurance does not yet cover PRP therapy. You may pay for injections by check or credit card. In many cases, the treatment avoids costly surgeries with lengthy recoveries so the cost-benefits are very high. Please call our office at (561) 496-6622 for more information.

PRP injections

PRP injections are a much simpler procedure than surgery. PRP therapy is a short outpatient procedure. A small sample of your blood is drawn (similar to a lab test sample) and the blood is then spun at high speeds, separating the platelets from the other components. The concentrated platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is then injected into and around the point of injury. No stitches are necessary since just a needle was used.

The procedure takes approximately one to two hours, including preparation and recovery time. Performed safely in our office, PRP injections relieve pain without the risks of surgery, general anesthesia, or hospital stays and without a prolonged recovery. In fact, most people return to their jobs or usual activities right after the procedure.

Up to three injections may be given within a six-month time frame, usually performed two to three weeks apart. You may, however, gain considerable to complete relief after the first or second injection.

The goal of PRP therapy is to resolve pain through healing and could prove to have lasting results. Initial improvement may be seen within a few weeks, gradually increasing as the healing progresses.

Research studies have shown PRP therapy to be effective at relieving pain and returning patients to their normal activities and daily lives. Both ultrasound and MRI images have shown definitive tissue repair after PRP therapy, confirming the healing process. The need for surgery can also be greatly reduced by treating injured tissues before the damage progresses and the condition is irreversible.

PRP history and current studies

Recent news headlines have featured the amazing results that professional athletes have experienced with PRP therapy. Pro football players Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers received PRP therapy after injuries that should have sidelined them for months and returned to play in a matter of weeks, winning the Super Bowl.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Takashi Saito received PRP therapy for an elbow condition and returned to play in just a few months, versus up to 14 months that recovery from surgery would have taken.

Unprecedented results have also been reported for other professional soccer, baseball, and football players. While PRP therapy is just beginning to become mainstream news, it actually has been around for quite some time.

Although PRP therapy is relatively new to the field of orthopedics, it has been used for more than 20 years in dentistry. PRP therapy has been used to promote healing following jaw reconstruction for patients with cancer. Its use has expanded to other medical specialties, including cardiovascular surgery, sports medicine, urology, cosmetic surgery, dentistry, and ophthalmology. These studies show that recovery time is quicker and the risks are lower with PRP therapy. Researchers are now focused on its use in musculoskeletal injuries.

In the field of orthopedics, PRP therapy has been studied for use in the joints, spine, bone, and tendons. Because the studies have used a small number of participants, larger studies are necessary before the results can be generalized.

Researchers are optimistic that after future studies, insurance will cover the procedure, and speculate that the procedure may become a protocol before surgical treatment.

iHealthSpot, Inc and South Palm Orthopedics.