Special Announcement - Now Screening for FDA Approved Stem Cell Study
Dr. Mitchell Sheinkop has completed training and is credentialed for an FDA-approved stem cell clinical trial for knee arthritis. Our clinic is now screening patients for this trial. Contact us at 312-475-1893 for details. Click here to learn more.

Regenerative Medicine in 2019

Nonobstructive meniscal tears

There is increasing evidence to suggest that patients with meniscal tears at the knee that do not cause “clunking”, giving way, or locking; hence nonobstructive, may benefit from Cellular Orthopedic intervention coupled with physical therapy. Previous studies involving patients over 45 years of age comparing arthroscopy with physical therapy for nonobstructive meniscal tears as seen on an MRI justify an initial conservative approach; but patient satisfaction may require 24 months to achieve. For those patients who undergo arthroscopic surgery, there is a significant increased risk of repeat knee surgery. In our practice, those patients electing to use the Physical Therapy option without surgery but with a Cellular Orthopedic intervention minimized the length of time needed to return to full activity.

Number of stem cells in amniotic fluid

The functionality of stem cells in amniotic fluid as sold today is a myth. Research shows that 250cc of fresh C-section delivered amniotic fluid, when introduced immediately into culture, only yields 40 stem cells. This means there are 0.16 stem cells per 1 cc of full-term amniotic fluid. Scientific literature referred to by the amniotic fluid marketing forces is based on amniotic fluid collected early in pregnancy.

Acetabular Labral Tear

A hip (acetabular) labral tear is damage to cartilage and tissue in the hip socket. In some cases, it causes no symptoms. In others it causes pain in the groin. Just because a tear is seen in the hip labrum on an MRI, it does not mean the tear is necessarily the cause of the pain. Before initiating treatment, the orthopedic surgeon must exclude that an underlying arthritic condition within the hip is not the real pain generator. More recently recognized is predisposition for a tear in those with abnormal acetabular architecture.

On biologics for knee osteoarthritis

Orthobiologics may become a mainstream treatment for knee osteoarthritis. While Platelet-rich plasma and hyaluronic acid injections are the most established biologics-based treatments for knee osteoarthritis so far, it’s not too early to make confident use of stem cells. At the same time, I must continually warn patients to be particularly careful about claims for these substances. All recommendations for intervention must be FDA compliant and evidence based. (To learn about my contributions to the cellular orthopedic scientific evidence, visit www.sheinkopmd.com. Under the information bullet on the top, you will find published articles)

Eventually, I believe the science and FDA will triumph over quackery and orthobiologics will become an essential part of every knee surgeon’s armamentarium. Available orthobiologics, include:

  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Platelet-rich plasma
  • Cytokine modulation 
  • Stem Cells
  • Exosomes
  • Adipose tissue

To learn more or to schedule an evidence based consultation, call (312) 475-1893

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How long might a regenerative medicine intervention work

Until 2002, the patient seeking a joint replacement consultation would ask me “how long will new joint last”? Then came the era of minimally invasive surgery -I played a major role in the introduction-and now the question became “how long is the incision?” and “how long will I stay in the hospital?” While the number of “Regenerative Medicine” options for the treatment of osteoarthritis continues to increase, in the current medical marketplace, it is via direct to consumer advertising that “breakthroughs” are brought to the attention of those impacted by the symptoms and limitations of Degenerative Joint Disease. Whereas patients historically would base their personal medial decision making on consultation and guidance from the medical community, such is no longer the case. Media marketing is now the primary reason a patient makes the decision for which Regenerative option to choose. The problem is there is little if any scientific evidence to support the ad claims. In the one or two approaches where there is a paucity of evidence, the latter is on a handful of subjects at less than six months. Witness the recent reversal on insurance reimbursement for several placental derived products because of the absence of benefit at six months in clinical trials.

Included among the reasons featured in ads promoting Stem cells for arthritis, you will find,” it worked for me”. More recently it is a product that “recruits” your Stem Cells. On it goes with promotions for Stem Cells in cord blood, Stem Cells in Wharton’s Jelly, and Stem cells derived from your adipose tissue (fat). Missing from the entire marketing campaign in almost every scenario is outcomes data. I am an orthopedic surgeon who, prior to my Cellular Orthopedic initiative, played a major role in joint replacement surgery as Professor of Orthopedics and head of a prominent joint replacement program at a large Medical Center in Chicago. While performing clinical trials with new generations of hip and knee implants, it was well accepted in the orthopedic community that a minimum of two year follow up would be required before a scientific paper would be considered for publication. When I entered the emerging specialty of Cellular Orthopedics, I continued the integration of clinical practice with clinical research so that my interventional recommendations would be evidence based. Below are two of the manuscripts I co-authored; one having been accepted for publication and the other recently submitted for publication.

Safety and Efficacy of Percutaneous Injection of Lipogems Micro fragmented Adipose Tissue for Severe Osteoarthritic Knees

A Specific Protocol of Autologous Bone Marrow Concentrate and Platelet Products Versus Exercise Therapy for Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial with 2 Year Follow-Up

What I won’t promote is anything wherein there is not two years minimum of evidence concerning safety, efficacy and satisfactory clinical outcomes. I am not opposed to progress but best practices demand clinical trials of new options and those trials should be underwritten by the pharmaceutical company; not by a patient paying relatively large sums without meeting inclusion criteria and without follow-up leading to minimum two-year outcomes evidence.

To learn more, schedule an appointment (312) 475-1893.  You may visit my website www.Sheinkopmd.com

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“Regulatory Considerations for Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-based Products: Minimal Manipulation and Homologous Use”

On November 16, 2017, The FDA posted definitive guidelines concerning what meets minimal manipulation rules and regulations and what is accepted under the practice of medicine guidelines in the specialty of Regenerative Medicine. The FDA further restated the requirement that regenerative medicine be governed by homologous use. As I interpret the guidelines there are winners and losers:

Physicians who use compliant regenerative therapies:

  • Amniotic fluid without stem cells
  • Blood-derived preparations (e.g., PRP, PPP)
  • Bone marrow aspirate

Physicians who use non-compliant regenerative therapies:

  • Adipose tissue-derived materials obtained by enzymatic digestion
  • Amniotic fluid with cells Cord blood derived materials (non-autologous treatments)
  • Stem Cell Clinics that advertise about using amniotic fluid as a source of stem cells and regenerative therapy along with those clinics that treat everything from alopecia to ALS to arthritis

You might ask how is that different from the current situation? First of all, the FDA Commissioner has stated in press releases that the FDA is going to go after bad actors. The Cures Act provided for increased funding to the FDA, which we suspect the Commissioner will use in part to go after the bad actors. Also, the FDA wrote in their Guidance on Minimal Manipulation and Homologous Use that “healthcare providers” need to pay attention. We have never seen them explicitly refer to the doctors and clinics providing regenerative medicine. Finally, the FDA indicated that there would be a transition period (3 years) during which manufacturers would need to enter the RMAT program to get their non-compliant products properly approved; or else. And the reason that there could be teeth in the “or else” is that the FDA will get lots of fees from all of the non-compliant products entering the RMAT program.
Last of all, what the FDA did not address as part of consumer protection; but what I incorporate in my daily practice is evidence based intervention.

Now that you are better informed and have an idea as to the laws governing our regenerative medicine marketplace, stay away from the Charlatans and Camp Followers. Then take the next step and ask your physician for the Outcomes Evidence on which a regenerative intervention for your arthritic joint is based before undergoing a procedure. To better understand that evidence call for (312) 475 1893 to set up a consultation

You may watch my webinar by accessing my web site www.ilcellulartherapy.com.

* Minimal Manipulation and Homologous Use

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Evidence Based Medicine and Looking Back at 2016 Interventional Orthopedics

Evidence Based Medicine and Looking Back at 2016 Interventional Orthopedics

I use bone marrow derived stem cells because they have been proven to be most effective at treating orthopedic conditions when compared to adipose derived stem cells.  There have been 13 papers published showing bone marrow superiority to adipose tissue in regards to treating orthopedic conditions and to the best of my knowledge, none reporting adipose derived results for arthritis. In addition to Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells, bone marrow has 1,000-10,000x more hematopoietic stem cells than adipose tissue; the former is necessary for muscle repair. Recently, we learned that bone marrow also has osteochondral reticular cells which are not found in adipose tissue and serve as orthopedic repair cells.  While adipose tissue and bone marrow both have stem cells, the skeletomuscular specific cells only found in bone marrow make it the best at treating orthopedic conditions. I don’t have a stake in doing bone marrow derived stem cells, I practice evidence based medicine and do what’s been shown to provide the best results.  If with continued research something superior to bone marrow derived stem cells becomes available, then I will gladly adopt that protocol.  


  • As I have reported on this Blog many times, research has shown the amniotic fluid samples being marketed as having stem cells actually do not have any viable stem cells when received and viewed in the laboratory. I do use amniotic fluid concentrate from time to time for its concentrated hyaluronic acid effect.


  • Since we manually process bone marrow when aspirated, I am able to customize PRP which we call SCP or super concentrated platelets.  The ubiquitous beside centrifuge only has one setting for volume and concentration so those using this approach are treating every patient without concern for individual differences. With the addition of the Abbott Ruby Hemocytometer, I am able to customize the treatment of the individual patient.  We can concentrate our SCP from 3-40X over baseline-with or without red or white blood cells. From my outcomes data base, I know what volume and concentration works best for treating the various body parts.  
  • We’ve developed HD BMC or high dose bone marrow concentrate which is far superior to that produced with bedside centrifuges used by most claiming expertise in Regenerative Medicine
  • I perform BMAs in compliance with the peer-reviewed literature recommendations as well as in keeping with my internal best practices research to maximize MSC yield. As stated, I count cells and know the quality in addition to the quantity of the injectate. Most doctors don’t count cells and have no idea what dose they are giving their patients


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