Among the state of the art treatments provided at Summit Orthopedics Specialists, one procedure that is showing great results is Lipogems injections, to treat joint pain. The Lipogems treatment system uses a revolutionary fat transfer technology to harvest, process, and transfer fat (adipose tissue) from a patient’s own body to sites where it is used to repair, reconstruct, and replace injured or damaged tissue.
Lipogems injections are among the many innovative treatments offered at Summit Orthopedics, where our team of experienced surgeons and Physician Assistants provide excellence in comprehensive orthopedic care, serving communities in the Sacramento area.
What Are Lipogems Injections?
Lipogems injections are administered using a medical Lipogems device that was approved by the FDA in 2016 for the purpose of transferring a patient’s own adipose tissue from areas such as the abdomen and injecting it directly into painful joints.
Lipogems injections have proven effective among a majority of patients in clinical trials in alleviating joint pain and assisting patients in resuming normal activities.
How Does Lipogems Work?
The Lipogems device is used to gently suction and process a patient’s own adipose tissue and delivers it to the area of injured or arthritic joints for use as a cushion to repair, replace, and/or support damaged or injured soft tissue surrounding the joints. The jelly-like characteristics of fatty tissue allow it to perform a structural function, such as physically supporting injured or arthritic bone tissue, or serving as a protective barrier to cover or cushion joints.
Additionally, adipose tissue naturally contains cells, such as pre-adipocytes, fibroblasts, vascular endothelial cells, as well as a variety of cells that protect immunity. The fat also provides a natural source of mesenchymal stem cells and growth factors that assist the healing process and promote tissue regeneration at the cellular level, restoring function and alleviating pain and inflammation in patients suffering from all kinds of joint conditions, from injuries to osteoarthritis.
What are the Benefits of Lipogems Injections?
Lipogems is a versatile and minimally invasive treatment that can serve as an alternative to surgery, or your doctor may recommend it as a complementary addition to your surgery in order to maximize your improvement.
By using your own body fat to treat joint conditions, the likelihood of adverse reactions to allergens is greatly reduced. Clinical trials have shown that the fat tends to remain in the treatment area where it is injected rather than being reabsorbed by the body, which means that the treatment lasts for an extended period of time, between one and three years in most patients.
Lipogems technology is ideally suited to treat certain orthopedic conditions, such as painful joints with limited range of motion. It also effectively treats soft tissue injuries or defects in the tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
Research has also demonstrated that fat maintains its healing properties in contrast to other tissues in the body, such as bone marrow, which has been shown to diminish its healing capacity as part of the aging process.
What Happens During the Procedure?
The Lipogems procedure is performed as an outpatient treatment in the doctor’s office and takes about an hour to complete. It is a minimally invasive procedure, performed under a local anesthetic.
Using this method, the fat (adipose tissue) is taken from the abdomen through a small incision in the skin. Lipogems then washes your fat tissue to remove the inflammatory oils and blood but preserves the natural and beneficial properties of the tissue.
Who is a Good Candidate for Lipogems?
Lipogems may be ideal for those who seek a minimally invasive alternative to surgery.
In some cases, it may be prescribed in addition to surgery.
Lipogems is ideal for adult individuals who:
- Have an injury or chronic condition that limits normal daily mobility and normal physical activity.
- Have a soft tissue injury or defect in the tendons, ligaments, or muscles.
- Have not obtained significant relief from NSAIDs, steroid injections, or other treatments such as physical therapy.
The procedure is not recommended for individuals with a known allergy to lidocaine or those with an autoimmune disease, a current systemic infection, hematologic abnormalities, or anyone who has received a steroid injection in the same treatment location within the past three months.
The procedure is not suitable for patients receiving treatment for cancer or a blood-borne disease and is not recommended for those who are currently breastfeeding or planning to nurse children in the near future.
Recovery after Lipogems
It is fairly common for patients to report experiencing soreness, redness, swelling, bruising, tenderness, and/or discomfort at the harvest site as well as the target site immediately following the treatment. These symptoms naturally resolve themselves in a few days. You will be given pain medication to address these symptoms over the first several days. Ice packs are also recommended to reduce pain, swelling, and tenderness.
Your doctor will design a treatment plan with detailed instructions regarding what activities you can perform. Plan to refrain from strenuous physical activity for at least 1-2 weeks after the procedure.
You may be instructed to wear a compression garment for several days following the procedure to protect sensitive tissue and assist the healing process. You must avoid any use of steroids after a Lipogems procedure.
Consultation for Lipogems Treatment in Sacramento, CA.
If you’d like more information on Lipogems injections in Sacramento, schedule an appointment at our Summit Orthopedic Specialists clinic in Carmichael, CA.