Stem cells are cells that have the ability to divide and form a wide variety of new types of tissue. Their use has been researched extensively for the treatment of tendon injuries as these injuries are often very slow to heal and have a high chance of recurring due the formation of in-elastic scar tissue instead of elastic tendon tissue.
Stem cells are harvested from the patients bone marrow as well as adipose tissue (fat) and then cultured (or grown) in a specialist laboratory before being injected into the injured tissue. Employing ultrasound guidance, cells are then injected into a damaged tendon or ligament using sterile technique. Cells can also be injected into joints in certain cases. The early results for this new treatment have been published in the veterinary literature and do show some good results for these injuries which can be difficult and frustrating to treat.