Sports Illustrated reports that hundreds of football players have gotten stem cell treatments to stay in the game. Recently the Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles has decided to take advantage of Stem Cell Therapy to keep himself in the game.

According to Kansascity.com Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles told Sports Illustrated that he recently had a stem-cell treatment as part of his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

When you watch this video below you can see the moment Jamaal tears his ACL.

Kansas City Chiefs uses stem cell treatments

 

Jamaal was running and suddenly planted his foot to change directions. This is when most athletes tear their ACLs. They are running as fast and as hard as they can in one direction and then they suddenly pivot in a completely different direction. This force is too much for the ACL and the ligament tears.

For Jamaal this was not his first time tearing his ACL. Jamal was also out for most of the season back in 2011. In 2011 Jamaal missed 14 games, he most likely had to go through surgery and wasn’t able to get back in the game as quickly as he wanted. Since 2011 stem cell treatments have become available in the United States so Jamaal took advantage of every procedure possible to get his back into the game quicker.

Jamaal and Stem Cells

There are a bunch of different reasons why someone would take advantage of stem cell therapy. Many older patients have slowly worn away their joints and stem cell therapy may help them rebuild cartilage. Some athletes have injuries and stem cell injections may be an alternative to surgery. However, for Jamaal he used stem cell treatments in addition to surgery.

Many athletes tear their ACLs and majority of the ACL injuries require surgery. However, with surgery comes a long recovery process. A running back doesn’t have time to spend recovering from surgery. Stem cell treatments are not just for rebuilding cartilage, but also speeding up the healing process after surgery. In addition to making the healing process much faster, stem cells also give athletes peace of mind that they will have a more successful surgery. In this particular situation Jamaal wasn’t looking for an alternative to surgery, but a way to have a more efficient surgery.

According to the news article:

“Charles, who is on injured reserve, said this is the first time he has used the procedure. When he tore his ACL in 2011, he did not use the treatment but did so this time because he believes it can help him return to the field quicker. Charles says he had stem cells injected during his ligament-repair surgery and again six weeks later. The treatment involves taking a patient’s bone marrow, extracting the stem cells and then injecting them into the injured part of the body.”

Types of Stem Cell Treatments

The type of stem cell therapy that Jamaal used involved using your own stem cells. The process takes stem cells from bone marrow or from fat in your body. The cells are extracted and then put through a process where the stem cells are separated from everything else that was extracted to get a more concentrated formula of stem cells. Then the stem cells were injected into Jamaal’s knee near the area where the ACL surgery took place. The stem cell’s healing properties helped promote healing in the knee and he was able to get back to the game sooner.

This is a popular treatment for many athletes. It’s attractive for people to use your own stem cells. However, there are more effective types of stem cell therapy.

Amniotic stem cells have show to be more effective at healing. However, you aren’t able to use your own stem cells. This type of therapy is called amniotic stem cell therapy because the stem cells come from umbilical cord blood and stem cells from the amniotic sack.

How are Amniotic Stem Cells Harvested?

When a mother is scheduled to have a C-section birth she chooses to donate her amniotic stem cells. The process is completely harmless to both the mother and the baby that’s being born. If the mother chooses not to donate her stem cells after a scheduled C-section her stem cells would essentially be wasted. After she chooses to donate her cells they are sent to an FDA approved lab and they are stored in extremely cold facilities until they are used for injections. The injection process is then the same with amniotic and other types of stem cells.

Why would anyone choose to use amniotic cells?

As we age our cartilage wears out in our joints, we may lose our hair, we may get wrinkles and our stem cells lose their vitality or their healing potential. Stem cells that come from the amniotic sack or umbilical cord blood are the most effective at healing. Jamaal has shown positive results after his stem cell treatments. However, he opted for the less optimal method of stem cell therapy. Perhaps he would have been able to get back in the game even quicker if he knew about amniotic stem cells.

At the Stem Cell Professionals in York, Pa we know and understand that results are the most important factor. We only use the most effective stem cells for our stem cell injections. If you are looking for an alternative to surgery or if you are looking to get back to your game quicker, give us a call at 717-881-2343.

References:

  • Terez A Paylor, December 11 , 2015, Jamaal Charles says he had stem-cell treatment along with ACL surgery (News Article Online) Retreived From: http://www.kansascity.com/sports/nfl/kansas-city-chiefs/article49218345.html