FAQ – Frequently asked questions

Are Stem Cell procedures the same as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment?

No. Platelet Rich Plasma is obtained by concentrating a solution of blood platelets, and not Stem Cells.

You will find the differences between Platelet Rich Plasma and Stem Cell therapy described on our internet page in the article Is Platelet Rich Plasma therapy the same as Stem Cell therapy?

In addition, beyond therapy using platelet rich plasma, at Sport-Med Cracow we use a special “Super Concentrated Platelet” solution that in our opinion allows for the attainment of significantly more Stem Cells.

At Sport-Med Cracow we use Super Concentrated Platelet therapy – procedures using solutions of blood platelets that are different from platelet rich plasma obtained in standard centrifuges.

You will find more information on SCP procedures on our internet page in the article Super Concentrated Platelet Procedure.

Are there various types of adult Stem Cells?

Yes, there are many kinds of adult Stem Cells. The most common are called hematopoietic Stem Cells. They can be easily obtained from mobilized blood from the circulatory system (the patient first receives a special medicine that “pushes” the Stem Cells from the bone marrow into the blood) or from the bone marrow, and they are very numerous. In addition to their use in the case of heart and blood vessel conditions, their effectiveness in treatment of other diseases has not yet been proven satisfactorily.

Most preparations described as bone marrow Stem Cells (in this case Stem Cells are injected on the same day they were aspired) are in reality the less useful cells. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) are the type of adult Stem Cells are most commonly connected with repair of tissues in orthopedics. Procedures conducted in the Sport-Med Cracow combine several techniques using Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Mesenchymal Stem Cells generally cannot be obtained from the blood. Fat tissue contains many Mesenchymal Stem Cells, but they are distantly related to those cells obtained from bone marrow and they may not be effective enough in the case of orthopedic procedures.

Are there various types of Mesenchymal Stem Cells?

Yes. For orthopedic purposes two main types of Mesenchymal Stem Cells are used: bone marrow and fat tissue cells. Mesenchymal Stem Cells are aspired with a needle from the bone marrow. Aspiration of bone marrow material may sound like a complicated procedure, but patients agree that it is a comfortable one.

The second type of Stem Cell is obtained from fat tissue, and may be obtained via liposuction. For orthopedic treatment, Mesenchymal Stem Cells from fatty tissue are significantly less effective than bone marrow stem cells. Research on cartilage, bone and soft tissue have shown that Mesenchymal Stem Cells taken from the bone marrow are significantly more effective in these cases. This is logical, taking into account that these cells naturally fulfill this function daily. For example, in the case of a bone fracture, bone marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells help to heal the bone. In addition, in the case of the micro fractures used to treat damage to the knee cartilage, it is Stem Cells that are released from the bone marrow to allow for healing.

Are procedures using Stem Cells always effective?

No. All medical and surgical procedures have their effectiveness ratio. This procedure is no exception. Some patients do not respond to treatment. You can find more information on this topic on our internet page in the article Are Stem Cell procedures always effective?

Bone marrow aspiration: Is bone marrow aspiration painful?

Patients often confuse aspiration of bone marrow with the more complex and painful bone marrow biopsy. At Sport-Med Cracow we conduct a simpler and more comfortable procedure of bone marrow aspiration. Due to the fact that we carefully anaesthetize the area being treated, about 8 out of 10 patients state that bone marrow aspiration procedure is completely comfortable and would choose it again.