Regenerative Medicine Overview

Regenerative medicine has gained popularity in its clinical applications, particularly in the field of musculoskeletal medicine. Musculoskeletal injuries can affect joints, muscles, tendons, cartilage, and supporting structures and cause pain. Regenerative medicine can be described as a particular medical strategy that strives to rebuild and restore diseased tissue to normal physiologic tissue baseline. These regenerative strategies, simply augment the body’s natural physiology to heal pathologic processes. Regenerative medicine treatments have been used for treating musculoskeletal injuries for decades. Major advancements over the last 20 years have led to significant improvement in techniques and clinical outcomes. Regenerative medicine can be used to treat many medical conditions, including back pain, knee pain, shoulder and hip pain.

What is Regenerative Medicine?

The term “regenerative medicine” refers to a group of therapies that help to enhance body’s own natural ability to heal itself to repair or replace damaged tissue. It is the process of creating living and functional tissues to repair, regenerate or replace tissues that are lost due to age, disease, damage, or congenital defects. A clinical research shows that the rapidly-developing field of regenerative medicine is increasingly being utilized as a viable alternative to traditional medical treatments. Traditional and non-operative treatments options concentrate on reducing the pain and other symptoms with injections, anti-inflammatory medications or physical therapy. Often, with these treatment options, the root of the problem cannot be fixed, therefore pain persist. For example, corticosteroid injections are ideal for relieving acute pain and reducing inflammation, but may weaken or even damage the tissues. In this situation, regenerative medicine treatments could be the answer to rejuvenate the damaged tissue and resolve the chronic pain.

The purpose in employing regenerative medicine is to aid healing and fix the root cause of the pain, potentially speed up the healing process and recovery time. Regenerative medicine uses your own powerful cells and offers new hope to those patients with osteoarthritis, tendonitis, soft tissues injuries, and other disorders causing joint pain. For these conditions, it has recently gained increasing attention as a safer, minimally-invasive alternative to joint invasive surgery.

What are the Regenerative Medicine treatment options?

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Adult Stem Cell Therapy are the most popular therapies that we offer in our practice.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet rich plasma or PRP is a portion of whole blood that has a high concentration of platelets. Platelets, also known as thrombocytes are filled with powerful growth factors and when injected back into an injured area the growth factors can restart and stimulate healing process. PRP therapy is currently being used as a non-operative treatment for mild to moderate osteoarthritis in knees, hips and shoulders. It is also being used for chronic tendon injuries such as tennis elbow, Achilles strains, and hamstring strains. For treatment of any musculoskeletal injuries, a typical PRP procedure requires a small amount of the patient’s blood, which is spun in a special centrifuge to separate the platelets from other components of the blood. A doctor then injects the highly rich in platelets layer of blood directly into the patient’s injured area. The PRP solution contains many bioactive components, including growth factors, cytokines, and proteins that stimulate new cell growth, restore blood flow, and regenerate injured tissue. Patients typically see a significant reduction in pain and improvement in function following the PRP treatments. Most patients require only a one or two injections, and because the patient’s own blood is used, risk of adverse side effects is minimal.

Adult Stem Cells

Adult Stem Cells have a very important role in Regenerative Medicine Treatments and have many potential applications. Simply, stem cell therapy is a regenerative process which uses the patient’s own cells from bone marrow or adipose tissue (fat) in order to restore function and repair damaged joint and tissues. Adult stem cells, are unspecialized cells with self-renewal potential that are able to differentiate into various connective tissues and they are commonly referred to as the body’s “repairmen” as they can repair muscle, bone, cartilage, or tendons. Some of the most common conditions treated with Stem Cell Therapies are: osteoarthritis in joints, meniscal repair, ligament and tendon injuries, and intervertebral disc degeneration, Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction, plantar fasciitis and many more. The goal of Stem Cell therapy is to amplify the natural repair system of the patient’s body.

Regenerative medicine offers an excellent option for treating various orthopedic conditions. Platelet Rich Plasma and stem cell therapies performed by our team of physicians are an innovative ways to use your body’s own stem cells to treat chronic painful orthopedic problems, including knees, hips, shoulders, feet, ankles and spinal disc injuries, as well any conditions that have not improved following conservative, non-surgical treatments.

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