Stem Cell Therapy For Pain - Columbia Pain Management, Hood River OR

By: Trey Rigert

Good morning and welcome to You Be All You Are TV, I'm your host Brad Harmon and today my guest is doctor David Russo with Colombia Pain Management in Hood River, Oregon. Doctor Russo thank you for joining us on the broadcast. Thank you Brad. Good morning! It's a pleasure to have you on today. Now, doctor Russo I understand that Columbia Pain Management has a huge announcement to make.

Yeah, we are very excited to let you and our patients know, that we partnered with Regenexx. Which is are one of the country's leading medical service vendors for stem cell therapy for pain so really what we're doing is we're bringing in a whole suite of regenerative medicine procedures to our patients who are interested in options other than surgery for the management of chronic pain conditions. That sounds exciting! We read a lot in the news about stem cell therapy. How are we using it to treat pain? Well, stem cell therapy, you know, in some ways there is really nothing new under the sun.

So, stem cell therapy has been around for a long time and is actually a direct application from wound care. What's new and novel about the way we're using it to treat acute and chronic pain is that we're able to be very targeted with stem cells. And localize specifically, very specifically, damaged and injured tissues. And sort of stimulate the body's own natural healing cycle.

So, by that I mean, we don't know why sometimes a patients get stuck in injuries phase. You know, if you cut your arm or cut your leg that stimulates a natural healing response in the body and stem cells are apart about healing response. Stem cells are all over our bodies, in every tissue. So we know from basic science studies that these little stem cells are like our body's own mini-contractors. When they sense a damaged tissue or injury they come to the site of jury and they stimulate the body's healing response.

Stem Cell Therapy For Pain - Columbia Pain Management, Hood River OR

Now, we don't understand why in some cases, people get stuck in the injuries phase. But what the application is is taking stem cells from one part of your body and putting them into another part of the body where there's a tissue damage or injury and stimulating that body's healing response. So by partnering with Regenexx, which has about as much industry experience a doing these procedures and have a really worked hard to develop protocols to take this application from what used to be only something available at a major university hospital and bring it into a physician's office. That's, that's groundbreaking and it opens up a whole new set of alternatives for our patients who are struggling with acute and chronic pain. That sounds awesome! So tell me a little bit about how the procedure works.

It sounds like you're using the patient's own stem cells? Right, so, basically the way it works is, if the patient is judged to be a good candidate for stem cell therapy for pain and we'll talk a little bit about what makes a good candidate or what makes a patient to a good candidate then the patient comes in for a pre-procedure where we extract the stem cells usually from the back of the hip. We do a mini-biopsy under a fluoroscopic guidance to take the stem cells out of the back of the hip. We process those stem cells and isolate the concentrated fraction of them and then put them back into the patient's specifically at the damaged, the damaged her injured a site. That's interesting and then the stem cells just not doing their job and start healing a injury or the damage joint.

Yeah, you know its, its complicated science but basically what we're discovering is that theese cells are messengers. They release chemicals that not only stimulate the body's healing response but they also recruit other stem cells to the site of injury. So, they're attractors of the body's healing healing mechanisms. That's wonderful so we're helping the body heal itself. That's exciting! So tell us a little about who you can help with stem cell therapy and what it takes to qualify? Yeah, so, you know, basically we're looking for we're looking for patients who are looking for a non-surgical alternative to healing a pain conditions.

So, this line of therapies is specifically targeted for orthopedic conditions. So that means soft tissue and bone conditions tendon, ligament maybe a small pieces the bone, that has died or not healing right that's called osteo-necrosis. Cartledge, maybe a patients who has an area of cartridge that is wearing down or degenerating and what we do, is of course, you know, we do a thorough medical evaluation gather all your records. Look at the procedures and therapies you tried before and if it looks like those things have not been beneficial then we are go ahead and and talk about a trial with stem cell therapy. Now the therapy stem cells work best for what I would consider to be patients with moderate disease severity so I'll you know realistically stem cells can't re grow a whole new structure just out of nothing if if you've had a meniscus or piece of Cartledge or a tendon that's been surgically removed, then stem cells can't go in there and just regenerate that structure and nothing there has to be a blueprint or template to work from.

So we're looking at up patients who you know have moderate a moderate disease severity and are interested motivated to avoid surgery and really need to jump-start that healing process and jump-start that rehabilitation that is going to you know really make the body a kick starting to recover. Wow! this is exciting information for people of my generation because we were necessarily kind to our joints and muscles when we were younger as we did you know our extreme sports and stuff now we're living longer with a little bit of aches and pains. So this is an opportunity for us baby boomers to remain active and and not have to go to undergo surgery. That's exciting news! Right! Yeah it is. It's very exciting news and you know it it's really opening up a whole new set of alternatives for patients and you know just when I say an alternative for patients that means that you know there are some cases where patients do you need orthopedic surgery. This this isn't a replacement for orthopedic surgery rather this is something that can hopefully forestall, put off or delay, you know a an orthopedic intervention as long as possible and and maybe even require patients and never have surgery but it's not a replacement for surgery That's good to know. So doctor Russo, why did Columbia pain Management choose to team up with Regenexx to offer this new pain therapy for your patients, using stem cells? So ah, two reasons. The first reason is that, you know, this group has the most experience in bringing this application into a office-based surgery center or physician's office.

They have the most experience are compared to anyone else that's looking at these therapies. So that's the first reason. The second reason is that our group is committed to science committed to evidence-based practice and so is Regenexx. So, Regenexx has been really at the forefront at developing clinical outcome registries. Tracking how patients do with this sort of treatment over time. Because we want to know and its essential for, you know, furthering our medical knowledge and building a robust algorithm and and protocol for future applications. So we want to partner with someone who takes the science seriously who takes patient care seriously and is interested in optimizing a alternatives to more invasive procedures because that is what our philosophy is.

That's good to know. So tell us a little bit about Columbia Pain Management and why this procedure is such a good fit for your practice. Yeah, Brad as you know Columbia Pain Management is a comprehensive and interventional pain management group here in Oregon in the Columbia Gorge and you know, what that means is that we look at the whole patient when it comes to treating pain so we're looking at what are you doing for diet, lifestyle, exercise. Are there pharmacological interventions that we can try, are there complementary and alternative interventions that are appropriate are are you a candidate for an interventional pain procedure like stem cell therapy or like certain kinds of spine or spinal intervention and injections. We bring all about together for the total care that patients, so stem cells, basically, stem cell therapy for pain in our view, basically adss another tool to the toolbox. It's for patients who, you know, are committed to a rehabilitation oriented a paradigm.

Who are you know committed to getting back and active into their life and want to get un-stuck from that injury repair, injury repair, injury repair cycle. So really moving them down the road towards rehabilitation and recovery. So it's a great fit for what we do as physical medicine rehabilitation specialists, as pain management specialists, as people who just enjoy you know, living in in the active outdoor lifestyle that Oregon in the Columbia Gorge offer. I mean people wanna be active they don't wanna be down and out up for several weeks for recovery from a major operation. They wanna optimized all treatments available to them before going under the knife and and that is what well we're committed to doing as well. That's exciting news. It sounds like it's a wonderful complement your practice. Giving you more tools to take excellent care the patients already taking care of.

Right. So doctor Russo do you have any final thoughts on pain management or stem cell therapy for pain management that you'd like to share with us or anything you like tell us to sum it all up? Yeah, you know, I see a lot of patience in my practice who, I believe have been sorta offered what I call you know, false choices. You know, they've been told things like there's nothing left to do except try surgery or this is just a degenerative condition that's going to you never get better and you're gonna just have to learn to deal with it. And oftentimes I think patients get very discouraged demoralized and internalize that message. You know, sometimes it's helpful to come in and I get a fresh set of eyes, get a new evaluation and your perspective from a group before providers that are you know, not anti surgery but are committed to trying as many different possible things in lue surgery and and really hear what options are from a health care perspective, a health care provider and doctor who's coming from that orientation perspective. That's good to know.

So doctors Russo if somebody's watching our interview online today or they're watching it later on YouTube and they decided, well I'd like to try this, this might be good for me. I've been suffering with knee pain or shoulder pain for years. How do they get started? Yeah, well you know, you can go to our website www Columbia Pain .org you can call our office directly 541- 386 9500. Asked to speak with one of our nurse navigators.

These are RN's who understand full breadth and scope of pain management procedures understand the indications for some of these newer regenerative medicine applications like stem cell therapy like a platelet-rich plasma therapy like Prolotherapy and can um you know give you some basic orientation to what your insurance benefits are and schedule you to come in for an evaluation with one of our physicians. That's really what starts the process rolling. That's good now, if people are worried about coming in for a visit. Are first initial visits to a specialist usually covered by insurance? Yes! You know, we have, we are contracted with dozens and dozens of insurance plans and so it would be very unusual that we wouldn't be able to us see you for an initial consultation under your insurance. Also in some circumstances in some cases, you know, we can have a phone consultation and one of our RN navigators, can are kinda do an initial pre-screen and let you know if maybe this is something that we can address with you over the phone or if it's I'll something that requires some little more in-depth evaluation in a personal face to face appearance in our office. Excellent! Dr Russo you been a wealth information this morning and we appreciate you joining us on the broadcast Brad thanks, thanks for having me.

It's always exciting to share good news so I love doing it. It is exciting to share good news. Maybe we'll talk some more on other broadcasts about the different types of procedures and exactly who they can help. Would that be good? That would be great! Yeah I look forward to that.

We look forward to having you back on the program and we appreciate you joining us on You Be All You Are TV and we hope that we will see you again soon on another broadcast.

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