Amniotic Fluid Injection
Amniotic stem cell injection is a regenerative medicine procedure involving the injection of stem cells harvested from the amniotic membrane and umbilical cord of a healthy maternal donor after delivery. The donors are meticulously screened prior to harvesting, and the cells prepared following all FDA regulations in the proper handling of transplanted tissue. This preparation can contain stem cells, proteins, platelets, and growth factors to stimulate the body’s natural healing cascade. The body has the ability to differentiate these stem cells into a specific type of cell (cartilage, muscle, or tendon) to repair damaged areas.
The procedure is very similar to a cortisone shot and can be done in the office without any sedation in less than 30 minutes. It does require preplanning to have the cryopreserved amniotic tissue delivered for your injection. You need to avoid any NSAID’s (ibuprofen, Naprosyn, diclofenac, etc.) for 2 weeks after the procedure, but Tylenol is OK to take if needed. A period of rest and gradual return to activity is advised, the details of which are specific for the location of the injection.
It usually will have a beneficial effect for 12+ months for osteoarthritis, and can be curative for some muscle or tendon injuries. Amniotic stem cell injection is still considered experimental by the FDA and is, therefore, a non-covered benefit for most insurance plans.