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Stem Cells Used To Treat Sports Injuries

Posted at 4:15 PM, Aug 28, 2015

TAMPA, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - More than 2.6 million Americans are treated for sports-related injuries every year. Many of these injuries lead to surgeries. Could a stem cell injection into the injury be the solution?

World Series MVP Pat Borders has played ball most of his life. Now that he's in charge of a team, he doesn't want to take a knee anytime soon.

“I like to run. I like to sprint and it was just impossible to sprint with the pain in both of my knees,” Borders told Ivanhoe.

Borders tried the adipose stem cell procedure. This involves an injection of his own stem cells combined with his platelet-rich plasma. The combination can repair an injury fast.

“The goal of this is to get quicker healing,” Michael Markou, DO, Osteopathic Physician at the Markou Medical Center in Tampa told Ivanhoe.

Stem cells are found in the adipose cells, or fat cells. Dr. Markou removed those cells from the abdomen.

“We then centrifuge it, and that spins down and isolates the stem cells from the adipose cells, from the fat cells,” Dr. Markou explained.

Then Dr. Markou mixes the patient's platelets with the stem cells and injects the mixture back into the injured area. He says this combination is a double whammy.

“By injecting the combination, you have an amplified effect,” he said.

Borders is already feeling improvement.

“I noticed for the first time, I got out and I’m going like 'wow' there's no pain at all in my left knee. My right knee, which was the worse one, I don't feel a whole lot there. It was a fun day,” he said.

Words you're likely to hear from an MVP.

Dr. Markou said this procedure can be used for elbows, shoulders, and the lower back. It is considered experimental by Medicare so it is not covered by insurance. The procedure can cost up to $4,000.