Alternatives to Surgery

Yes, adult stem cells, not embryonic, nor fetal are found throughout our body ranging from our own blood to fat, to bone marrow, just to name a few. These cells have the ability to differentiate into bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments and aid in the regeneration of injured tissue and accelerate healing. Dr. Bennett uses adult bone marrow derived stem cells typically procurred from the back of the pelvis bone.


There are three (3) sources of stem cells being used in orthopedics; cells from fat, cells from blood, and cells from bone marrow.

Why do we prefer bone marrow?
Bone marrow’s progenitor/stem cells are better suited for regenerating cartilage, ligament and tendon and can be used as a direct application (in-office-injection) or as an adjunct in surgery to aid in regeneration and healing of injured tissue. This technique is point-of-care, the cells are not manipulated and are utilized as treatment at the same time of the harvest. The harvest is from the posterior (back) portion of the pelvic bone; a very short anesthesia is required. Patients rarely complain of any discomfort following the harvest, and the marrow taken grows back!

Evidence Based Applications!
There continues to be expanding indications for the use of bone marrow derived adult stem cells. We are using them for cartilage damage, arthritis, rotator cuff tears, tendon tears and hip labral injuries.

mid_stem-cells-shoulderWhy do we not use stem cells from fat?
The harvesting of cells from fat has carried over into orthopedic applications from plastic surgery applications. While they are a great source for plastic surgery and there are large numbers of them found in fat, cells, whilst lower in number, from the bone marrow are better suited for orthopedic applications.

Improvement from stem cell Injections?
Early decrease in pain may be seen as quickly as 2 weeks, but the whole event may not be optimized for 3-4 months.
How long would you estimate this treatment would be effective?

This is an evolving field; and as such, it is still considered investigational from an insurance standpoint. However, the cells will help to regenerate new tissue in the proper environment and the science suggests that the tissue may be as robust as nor mal tissue. People who have had shoulder surgery and cartilage surgery with stem cells applied recovered quicker than those with the same surgery without stem cells.

What are the advantages of doing Stem Cell Therapy as opposed to a surgical procedure?
Firstly, as opposed to surgery, the risks associated with the procedure are minimal with the greatest risk being the possibility that it doesn’t work. The bone marrow is replenished, rarely do hematomas form from the aspiration site and because only one aspiration from the pelvis is performed, the risk of any bone fracture is negligible. The advantages are similar in the sense that tissue regeneration may be achieved without surgery.


  • Bone marrow is aspirated.
  • The aspirate is filtered to remove bone fragments.
  • Using a special centrifuge with aspirate container, the cells are separated from the other main components
  • The concentrated cells are suspended in plasma and injected with PRP.

What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Bennett Orthopedics utilizes only bone marrow aspirate concentrate with “no manipulation” of cells as an adjunct to treating arthritis, cartilage, tendons and rotator cuff injuries.

Below is a list of just a few articles in Medical Journals discussing the research on the benefits of using Stem Cell Therapy in orthopedic applications.

– Osteochondral Lesions of the Knee: A new one step repair technique with Bone Marrow-Derived Cells.
Robert Budaa,
Journal Bone and Joint Surgery, 2011

-Application of Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell in a Rotator Cuff Repair Model
Lawrence V Gullotta, MD,
The American ]ournal of Sports Medicine, 2009

– Concentration of Bone Marrow Total Nucleated Cells by a Point-of-Care Device Provides a High Yield and Preserves Their Functional Activity
Patrick C. Herman
Cell Transplantation Vol.16 2008

Dr. Bennett is an esteemed, experienced Sarasota orthopedic surgeon, internationally known as an expert shoulder and knee specialist. Designated one of the Top Orthopedic Surgeons in Sarasota by U.S. News and World Reports, Dr. Bennett has been practicing since 1995. As a sportsmedicine physician, he treats all injuries, but has been a pioneer in the areas of shoulder surgery, adult stem cells, and platelet rich plasma (“PRP”) treatment of joints. He sees patients from various parts of the world who seek his advanced expertise in treating hip, knee, elbow, and shoulder injuries. Arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery, minimally invasive custom knee replacement, cartilage regeneration, meniscus surgery, ACL reconstruction and hip arthroscopy are common procedures performed by Dr. Bennett. You will find you have come to the right place at Bennett Orthopedics and Sportsmedicine. Regenerating the Youth in You! Call at (941) 953-5509 or submit our online form.

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