The Healthy Hand and Wrist

The hand is a complex combination of small bones (phlanges, metacarpals, and carpals), muscles, and tendons. The intricate movements of the hand rely on the proper function of many joints. Here is a brief overview of the properties of a healthy hand and wrist:

  • There are 27 bones in the wrist and hand.
  • These bones are held together by muscles and tendons, and each separated by a shock-absorbing layer of smooth articular cartilage.
  • The cartilage allows the bones to roll over each other with little resistance.

What is a Stem Cell Procedure?


A stem cell procedure harnesses and amplifies the body's natural mechanism for healing (and anti-inflammation). This mechanism uses adult autologous stem cells derived from your own bone marrow.

In the procedure, the physician will aspirate bone marrow from the iliac crest of your pelvis, concentrate it, then deliver the concentrate to the injury site. In all, the process takes less than 45 minutes.

Depending on your condition, your doctor may decide to deliver the stem cells following an arthroscopic procedure to remove damaged cartilage or bone. This will not affect the procedure; it allows the surgeon to visualize the target site.

Because your procedure will utilize a concentrated preparation of your own cells, the procedure is considered "autologous point-of-care". The procedure is fast, and in most cases can be completed with moderate sedation.


Problems of the Hand and Wrist

Some common problems experienced in the hand and wrist include:

  • Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis
  • Ligament sprain or tear
  • Bone fracture from age or injury
  • Swollen or inflamed synovial membrane, the lining of the joints


Who is a Good Candidate for a Stem Cell Procedure

The ideal recipient of a stem cell procedure is a patient that wants to use their body's own regenerative potential as an option to possibly delay or avoid invasive surgery.

Preparing for my Procedure

As with any medical procedure, it is important to consult your physician about preparation.

Refrain from anti-inflammatory medication 7 days prior to procedure and 14 days post procedure.

What Can I Expect Post-Procedure?

ORTHO-trifold-WRIST-HAND1.jpgStem cell procedures are usually done as an outpatient, meaning there is no need for an overnight hospital stay. Most patients should expect to walk out of the clinic and resume low-impact activities immediately.

Some patients have reported experiencing mild pain for the first 48-72 hours post-procedure. In most cases, this is due to the absence of their normal anti-inflammatory and pain relief drugs. After this period, most patients experience a gradual decrease in pain, with some experiencing sustained pain relief. Soon afterward, patients may see improved function.

When Can I Resume Physical Activity?

The most important part of any stem cell therapy is adhering to your post-procedure restrictions. For the procedure to have the best change to yield lasting benefit, most physicians strongly recommend:

  • Refrain from anti-inflammatory medication 7 days prior to procedure and 14 days post procedure.
  • Rest for the first 24-48 hrs.
  • Restrict the joint to "general use" for the first two weeks.
  • For weeks 3-4, walking and cardio are allowed.
  • After 4 weeks, weightlifting and running are permitted.
  • Pay attention to your joints as you resume normal activity.