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A stem cell injection is a fairly simple, in-office procedure that takes about an hour to complete. There are just a few things you need to prepare in advance.

Make sure you inform us if you have had a steroid injection into the joint we are treating. As you may know, steroids can cause degeneration of cartilage in a joint so we want the joint free of steroids for one month before the injection and for six months after.

There are very few medications you need to discontinue before your treatment, but let our staff know what you are taking to make sure there is nothing you need to discontinue. We do perform stem cell injections on patients on blood thinners, but please inform us before the procedure.

As a precautionary measure, we have you limit the use of the injected joint for 3-5 days after the procedure. For hips and knees, this means we'd like you to be off your feet except for light walking around the house and for shoulders it means limited use and no lifting, stretching or vigorous motion. For hips and knees, we will send you home with a walker or crutches to further limit the amount of pressure you put on those joints. Make sure to block out 3-5 days after your procedure where you can rest and stay off your feet.

We also recommend that you discontinue anti-inflammatories for as long as you can tolerate after your procedure. There is some literature which suggests the inflammatory response within the joint can help signal to the newly introduced stem cells where they should go and what they should do. While there is no definitive evidence that stopping anti-inflammatories has a large effect, we recommend limiting the use if possible after your injection.

Dr. Kevin Crawford is a Beaumont board-certified orthopedic surgeon and one of the few physicians in Michigan who provide stem cell injection therapy, and has helped 100,000+ patients with a range of orthopedic conditions.