One local business provides an alternative to shouldering pain.

In a town like Park City, casts, slings and crutches are standard attire. We break, tear and dislocate body parts with reckless abandon. For many of the orthopedically injured, surgery has long been considered the go-to choice for recovery. But thanks to procedures now offered at Utah Stem Cells, operations aren’t the only option.

Located inside the Westgate Resort on Canyons Drive, Utah Stem Cells offers stem cell therapies for aches, aging and even appearance.

“We use stem cell therapeutics to help promote complete and permanent regeneration of damaged, aged or unhealthy tissue throughout the body,” said Dr. William Cimikoski, founder of Utah Stem Cells. “If you have a musculoskeletal disorder, arthritis, tendonitis, ligamentous instability or bursitis, stem cell therapy can often help you return to your sport faster and avoid the need for surgery.”

That’s what worked for Allan Bolt. In the summer of 2000, he partially tore a ligament in his shoulder while playing softball. “I was in pain and my mobility was limited. My fingers and hands would often be numb,” Allan said. He tried physical therapy and cortisone shots at first, but neither helped much. “I knew I wanted to avoid surgery if at all possible, so I looked into stem cell therapy,” he explained.

Dr. Cimikoski treated Allan’s shoulder, first with a stem cell joint regeneration procedure, followed by a platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection about a month later. “I had those done in the fall of 2012 and I haven’t needed anything since. It’s like the injury never even happened,” Allan stated.

Allan’s experience is a fairly common one, Dr. Cimikoski confirmed. “Stem cell therapy is the first part of the treatment, where we inject stem cells into the injured area. About a month later, some patients receive a follow-up injection of platelet rich plasma. We often tell patients stem cells are the grass seeds, and the PRP is the fertilizer,” he explained.

Stem cells live in all of us and they act as the body’s repairman. But injuries and age prevent these critical repair cells from doing their job, which is why an injection of stem cells into the affected area has such great results. “The stem cells we use are harvested from the amniotic membrane and umbilical cords from donor mothers who give birth to a live, healthy baby,” Dr. Cimikoski said. “These amniotic stem cells have amazing regenerative powers, more so than your own adult stem cells. And there’s no ethical concern or risk of rejection. They allow new tissue to grow and replace damaged tissue.”

Once a patient undergoes stem cell therapy, about 40% of them return for a PRP injection. For this procedure, patients have their blood drawn, which is processed so the platelet-rich portion is separated, then injected into joints to repair damage.

“When an injury occurs, platelets are the true front line soldiers for healing. They carry many different types of growth factors, proteins and enzymes, which promote healing. They are also the cells that stop the bleeding when a ligament or tendon is torn or sprained. Having a concentration of PRP injected into a problem area speeds up the healing process and allows for quicker recovery,” noted Dr. Cimikoski.

He added that since PRP is derived from the patient’s own body, its 100% natural and there’s no risk of rejection. “The benefits and options for stem cell therapy seems limitless right now. More and more people are able to regenerate joints rather than replacing them surgically.”