American Stem Cell Centers of Oklahoma Helps People Relieve Joint Pain
by Sheila Julson
Paul Roden, a regenerative specialist at American Stem Cell Centers of Oklahoma (ASCCO), knows it’s important to seek alternative ways to do things when traditional treatments don’t work. While watching his mother suffer through numerous spinal surgeries and joint replacement operations and finding little relief, he started researching other options to help her. His findings pointed toward stem cell treatment. Today, Roden educates patients and the public about how to improve their neuropathic pain and orthopedic conditions through adult stem cell therapy.
Before joining the ASCCO team this past year, Roden had worked in the medical field for 25 years as a critical care paramedic on Life Flight helicopters and with ground emergency medical services. During this time, his mother, now 76 years old, was going through multiple orthopedic surgeries. “I read about alternative therapies for her and what would work better than joint replacement,” he says. His interest in stem cell therapy, along with a desire to help people, made him an ideal candidate to eventually work in a related field.
That opportunity came along when his friend founded ASCCO. The clinic was born from a desire by a group of doctors and business owners to make stem cell therapy for orthopedic use accessible to Oklahoma residents. ASCCO’s founders and physicians desired better ways to treat patients that did not find success from joint replacement surgeries. “As things began to develop in the stem cell industry, those doctors began to deploy some of those therapies until they were finally mainstream and had plenty of research to show its effectiveness. They decided to create American Stem Cell Centers,” Roden explains.
ASCCO treats orthopedic conditions, such as injuries to the back, joint pain, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, degenerative disc disease, bulging and herniated discs, and chronic pain issues. It also treats different types of peripheral neuropathy, most commonly diabetic neuropathy. “Stem cells can generate new blood vessel formation, so you can increase the circulation to extremities, like the hands and feet, to relieve symptoms,” Roden says.
Kendall Little, M.D., Jerry Pritchett, M.D., and DeMille Madoux, M.D., make up the team of physicians at ASCCO. Roden says new patients receive an exam to assess their conditions and their health status to make sure they are good candidates for stem cell therapy. The problematic joint is evaluated, and if the patient is a good stem cell candidate, he or she will receive stem cell therapy injections. The injections are from stem cells isolated from umbilical cords and stored in liquid nitrogen. Roden notes the umbilical cord blood is donated from live, healthy babies after birth.
Platelet rich plasma therapy is another component of the services at ASCCO. The procedure involves using blood from the patient’s own circulatory system. “What we do is draw some of the patient’s blood, and we separate the red blood cells and platelets and mix it back with a little bit of plasma,” Roden says. “We then inject that along with the stem cells. The plasma carries all the growth factors—the vitamins and nutrients to allow the cells to grow and repair themselves. It’s like a super protein shake, giving extra vitamins and nutrients to reproduce and regrow new cells.”
The healing process may take several months, depending on the condition of the treated joint. ASCCO staff follows up with patients after 30 days to check improvement. Roden says he has heard remarkable feedback from patients whose lives have improved from stem cell therapy. To his knowledge, ASCCO is the only practice in the state solely dedicated to regenerative medicine using stem cell therapy. ASCCO holds many ongoing free classes throughout the state for patients to learn more about stem cell therapy to treat neuropathy and orthopedic conditions. See ad on page 3.
Roden continues to immerse himself in learning about stem cell research and treatments. “This is absolutely the future of medicine, there’s no doubt about it,” he says. “It’s motivating to see people’s lives change, and there are alternatives to major surgery that are worth checking out.”
Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.