Sports Injuries

Sports injuries create a drastic change in life. They are sudden, severe injuries that impact bones, joints and muscles. Skeletal muscle injuries are extremely common, accounting for up to 35-55% of all sports injuries. These injuries result in the formation of scarring (fibrosis) that can lead to the development of painful contractures, increasing the risk for repeat injuries and limiting the ability to return to a pre-injury level of function.

With sports injuries, there is medication for the pain or surgery to repair what has been broken. It is important to note that stem cells cannot solve mechanical problems and surgery might be necessary to fix a fracture or remove a free piece of bone. However, stem cell therapy offers an appealing option to avoid surgery or as an adjunct to therapy. Clinical studies show that treatment with adult stem cells can greatly reduce inflammation, induce tissue and bone regeneration, and improve recovery times.

What can stem cell therapy do for sports injuries?

Adipose (fat) tissue is the most accessible, abundant and potent source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), the key adult “repair” cell found in all tissues and organs of the body. The combination of adult stem and regenerative cells found in adipose tissue have the potential to:

  • Address widespread inflammation
  • Turn into replacement bone and cartilage cells
  • Prevent further premature cell and tissue death
  • Reduce scarring
  • Modulate abnormal immune responses
  • Stimulate the growth of new blood vessels for better blood flow

The goal at Okyanos for treating any condition is an enhanced quality of life. We want patients to go back to the tennis court, back to the golf course, back to being fully active with restored joint function.

Watch our video on Sports Injuries and stem cell therapy with our Okyanos Ortho team:

The Procedure

Stem cell treatment at Okyanos is a minimally invasive, same-day, outpatient procedure. Though recovery varies from patient-to-patient, our protocols are designed and carried out with the goal of keeping downtime to a minimum. A general overview of the procedure is as follows:

  1. First, water-assisted fat harvesting is done to obtain a sufficient amount of adipose (fat) tissue.
  2. The unique blend of stem and regenerative cells that exist in adipose tissue are isolated and prepared for delivery using a proprietary, closed/sterile, fully automated cell processing system. In about 65 minutes, the highly potent SVF is ready for direct injections and IV infusions.
  3. Our expertly-trained orthopedists will perform direct injections under ultrasound or 2D-fluoroscopic guidance to ensure proper placement of the cells.
  4. The SVF/stem cells might also be administered intravenously (IV) to address the systemic factors relating to orthopedic dysfunction.

The Best Care & Safety

Treatment timeframes are usually three days and might vary depending on the personalized plan:

  1. Day 1: Pre-operative session includes an office visit with the medical staff for a detailed review of the patient’s treatment plan and an opportunity to discuss any questions from the patient and family members.
  2. Day 2: The patient undergoes treatment and briefly rests in our comfortable facility before being escorted back to the hotel for the evening.
  3. Day 3: Post-operative session involves a brief physical at Okyanos and a discharge plan discussion. The physician reviews the post treatment recommendations and communication plan, and clears the patient to go home.

For a more detailed understanding of what to expect, watch the below video series with Gretchen Dezelick, RN and Director of Clinical Operations:

For a detailed understanding of stem cell safety at Okyanos, watch our video below.


Therapeutic Potential of Stem Cells in Orthopedics (January-February, 2012) in Indian Journal of Orthopaedics. Retrieved from

Role of Inflammation in the Pathogenesis of Osteoarthritis: Latest Findings and Interpretations (April, 2013) in Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease. Retrieved from

Application of Stem Cells in Orthopedics (2012) in Stem Cells International, volume 2012 article ID 394962. Retrieved from

Michalek J, Dudasova Z, Kristkova Z, Darinskas A, Lukac L, Chaloupka A, Moster R. Stem Cell Therapy of Osteoarthritis Using Stromal Vascular Fraction Cells—Proceeding of the STEMSO Conference (2014) in CellR4. Retrieved from

Therapeutic Application of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Orthopaedics (April, 2005) in Pathologie Biologie. Retrieved from

Application of Stem Cells in Orthopedics (2012) in Stem Cells International, volume 2012 article ID 394962. Retrieved from