What is a Stem Cell? [Video]

Ask the Expert: Regenerative Medicine Video Series

About the video: What are stem cells?

Listen to Summit Orthopedics’ regenerative medicine experts Steven Stulc, D.O., and Kirk Scofield, M.D., discuss the specific kinds of stem cells that are used in regenerative therapies, and how they can work to coordinate the body’s healing abilities.

Meet Kirk Scofield, M.D.

Dr. Scofield’s education: Dr. Scofield completed his undergraduate studies at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington. He attended medical school and received his degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, Washington. His residency was at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, Colorado. He completed his fellowship in primary care sports medicine from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A fellowship is the highest level of advanced professional training for physicians.

Meet Steven Stulc, D.O.

Dr. Stulc’s approach: “My goal is to treat patients with a comprehensive approach to their spine related disorders, understanding that improving pain and function can have a tremendous impact on quality of life.”

Dr. Stulc’s education: Dr. Stulc studied at Southwestern Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN for his undergraduate degree, and he completed his medical degree at Des Moines University in Des Moines, IA. Following his residency in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation program at Mayo Clinic, he completed advanced fellowship training in Interventional Pain Medicine at Penn State University’s Department of Anesthesiology in Hershey, PA.

Expert care

Summit’s team of experts provide innovative regenerative medicine therapies for those looking for an alternative to traditional treatments. They can treat arthritic joint pain, sports injuries, neck and back conditions—creating an environment to trigger tissue repair and healing.

Start your journey to better function and less pain. Visit our regenerative medicine services hub and find your expert, request an appointment online, or call us at (651) 968–5201 to schedule a consultation.

Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MNPlymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.

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Video Transcription

A stem cell to a patient, it conjures up a lot of imagery in their mind, but essentially a stem cell is one the beginning cells, and the true beginning of stem cell is an embryonic cell that can potentially develop into any other type of tissue in the body. That is not what we’re looking at with regenerative therapies. We’re looking at adult stem cells that have been somewhat differentiated down that pathway. – Most stem cells in an adult have kind of gone through some kind of through some maturation process, where they’re a little bit more limited in terms of what types of cells they can turn into. The type of cell that we think of in terms of orthopedic stem cell sort of therapy is something called a mesenchymal stem cell. And that has been shown, at least in labs, to be able to turn into cartilage cells, bone cells, and fat cells. But we think that a large part of what they do in the body actually is signaling and coordinating a healing response. Most stem cells sort of live, in addition to in the bone marrow, live around the outsides of blood vessels. So when there’s an injury, those stem cells are right there, where it happens. And they basically are the Generals, kind of coordinating all the different parts of the healing process that have to come in.

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