Now You Can Help Your Body Heal Itself

Now You Can Help Your Body Heal Itself

Regenerative medicine represents a complete breakthrough in modern medicine.  The body’s ability to heal itself naturally is actually not a new thing.  A fractured bone will regrow and heal the break.  Cut yourself shaving, and the skin will heal.  There are many examples of our body’s innate ability to heal injuries.

Now modern science and technology are now enabling physicians to help their patients discover new ways in which the body can heal itself.  Within the specialty of orthopedics, regenerative medicine is offering healing and pain relief to patients who suffer from conditions such as osteoarthritis, herniated discs or ligaments and tendons injuries. 

Orthobiologics Can Boost the Body’s Own Natural Healing Abilities

Orthobiologics are cells and substances derived from cells that are naturally found in your body. By concentrating them and delivering them to the site of injury, they can help speed up the healing process.

Here’s how it works:

When you injure a bone, muscle or tendon, the platelet cells in the blood are the first responders arriving on the scene to quickly start healing. White blood cells also rush to the injury site to ward off infection, control inflammation and become the clean-up crew [i].  Other important cells like stem cells participate in this complex symphony of repair.  Specialists in orthopedic regenerative medicine can now boost these natural processes through several specialized treatments that help maximize the body’s own innate healing capabilities.

Regenerative Treatments for Orthopedic Conditions

There are different orthobiologic treatments that your regenerative medicine specialist can recommend depending on your orthopedic condition:

·  Platelet Rich Plasma puts the healing properties of the patient’s own blood to work to repair damaged joints, tendons and muscles. The platelets in the blood release growth factors and proteins that promote tissue repair, while the plasma carries the hormones, electrolytes and nutrients required to nourish cells during the healing process.  PRP treatments are customized to the particular individual and their injury in order to be most effective.

·  Cell based therapies use cells derived from the patient’s own bone marrow or adipose (fat) tissue. These cells include adult stem cells and many other healing cells. They produce molecules that direct neighboring cells in the area to form new blood vessels, decrease inflammation and encourage formation of new healthy tissues.  Stem cells are special cells that have the unique ability to develop into the specific kind of cell needed, whether that be a tendon, ligament, cartilage or bone cell. Skilled regenerative medicine practitioners use highly specialized processes to prepare these cells that are then delivered directly to the injured area to stimulate healing.

·   Prolotherapy (Proliferative Therapy) uses dextrose and other natural substances that are injected into a chronically injured ligament, tendon, nerves or joint in order to help the body jump-start its own natural healing response.

Beware of Imposters

As regenerative treatments have become more widely recognized for their ability to address  orthopedic conditions and the chronic pain associated with it, more and more clinics are trying to get in on the action.

If you are considering regenerative treatments for pain related to osteoarthritis, tennis elbow, degenerative discs in the spine or other conditions, you should perform due diligence on the clinic that offers it.  The source, processing and delivery of the regenerative materials are critical to the success of the treatment.

Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow the use of stem cells derived from birth tissue products (amniotic fluid and tissue, umbilical cord blood) to treat orthopedic conditions because these donor products have not been proven to be safe or effective.  Our board-certified specialists only use your own cells (autologous) to treat orthopedic conditions.

Maximizing the effectiveness of these treatments requires a state-of-the-art facility and equipment, as well as knowledge and experience in fluoroscopic (x-ray) or ultrasound guidance to ensure targeted delivery of the healing cells to the injured area.

Orthobiologic treatments that capitalize on the body’s own natural healing abilities is one of the most exciting opportunities in modern medicine to address and resolve the chronic pain associated with orthopedic conditions that affects millions of Americans.

Drs. Christopher J. Rogers and Mary A. Ambach of San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group together have successfully treated thousands of patients with cell based therapies for more than three decades.  They are published authors and cell therapy researchers.  Their facility in Carlsbad contains the most advanced Regenerative Medicine technology in San Diego and offers same day treatments with the highest level of safety and efficacy.

[i] https://www.aarp.org/health/alternative-medicine/info-11-2008/super_healing.html

[ii] https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/helping-fractures-heal-orthobiologics/

Common Regenerative Treatments for Sports Injuries

Common Regenerative Treatments for Sports Injuries

The old adage among athletes is “No pain, no gain.”  Sure, sore muscles after a hard workout are to be expected, but according to the National Safety Council, sports-related exercise accounted for nearly 800,000 injuries among adults in 2017.

These included injuries sustained from:

  • Cycling
  • Exercise with equipment
  • Racket sports
  • Recreational basketball
  • Softball
  • Soccer
  • Swimming

Post-exercise soreness can occur up to 1-2 days after an exercise. However, if severe pain occurs during the exercise or immediately after, and if it progressively worsens and limits daily activities, you should seek consultation for a possible injury.

Breakthrough Options for Treating Sports Injuries

Regenerative medicine specialists can offer a number of options to treat sports-related injuries such as:

  • Bursitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Tendinitis, Tendon tears, such as rotator cuff tears
  • Hip and shoulder labral tears
  • Ligament tears
  • Meniscus tears
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Plantar fasciiosis
  • Repetitive stress injuries

How Regenerative Medicine Treats Sports Injuries

Regenerative medicine uses state-of-the-art technology to maximize your body’s innate healing capacity. It uses your own cells to treat injuries in the joint cartilage, tendons or ligaments.

  • Cell based treatments use cells derived from your own bone marrow or adipose (fat) tissue. These tissues contain adult stem cells and many other healing cells. When they are reinjected into an injured area they initiate healing. These cells produce molecules that direct cells to form new blood vessels, reduce inflammation, stimulate stem cells and encourage the formation of healthy tissue.

 

  • Platelet Rich Plasma puts the healing properties of your own blood to work to heal damaged joints, tendons and muscles. Platelet cells from the blood release growth factors and proteins that promote tissue repair.  The plasma carries hormones, electrolytes, proteins and nutrients that nourish cells during the healing process.  PRP is not a “one-size-fits-all” treatment.  To be effective, these treatments are customized to your specific medical condition. When performed correctly, PRP can bring pain relief and healing of injuries such as tennis elbow, tendon tears and osteoarthritis within weeks.

 

  • Prolotherapy also known as Proliferative Therapy uses dextrose solutions and other natural substances to stimulate a healing response in chronically injured ligament, tendon or joints. The treatment can strengthen ligaments, improve stability and relieve pain. Scientific studies have demonstrated prolotherapy can be effective in treating tendinopathy, ligament sprains, tennis elbow, joint laxity, plantar fasciitis and osteoarthritis.

The “X” Factors

Great athletes are often said to possess the “X” factor, that special variable that influences successful outcomes. The same can be said of regenerative medicine treatments. The most successful regenerative treatments have the following “X” factors:

  • Autologous source: Regenerative products that come from your own body (autologous) have been proven to be safe and effective in peer-reviewed research. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently does not allow the use of donor stem cell products derived from amniotic fluid or other fetal tissues to treat orthopedic conditions. These products pose a risk of disease transmission or immune reaction. Moreover, these donor tissues do not to contain living stem cells, as opposed to what is claimed by the companies that market these products.
  • Customized treatment: The best outcomes occur when your own cells and platelet rich plasma are prepared using the most advanced protocols to create a treatment that is customized to your specific injury.
  • Targeted delivery: To maximize effectiveness, these regenerative treatments should be delivered under image guidance with fluoroscopy (x-ray) or ultrasound to ensure precise delivery to the injured area.  Only physicians with fellowship training in advanced image guided procedures are certified to perform these procedures.
  • Expert physicians: If you are considering regenerative medicine for the treatment of your spine or joint condition, seek a board certified physician who specializes in treating orthopedic injuries and has advanced training in regenerative medicine.  These physicians are best suited to obtain the best results employing the latest research, technology and safety protocols.

Drs. Christopher J. Rogers and Mary A. Ambach of San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group together have successfully treated thousands of patients with PRP and cell-based therapies for more than three decades. They are published authors and stem cell researchers.  Their facility in Carlsbad contains the most advanced Regenerative Medicine technology in San Diego and offers same day treatments with the highest level of safety and efficacy.

https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-sports-injuries#:~:text=Basketball%20followed%20with%20about%20500%2C000,players%20have%20generated%20national%20headlines.

 

Can PRP Therapy Help Avoid Surgery For Arthritis and Orthopedic Conditions?

Can PRP Therapy Help Avoid Surgery For Arthritis and Orthopedic Conditions?

Join our free webinar to learn about PRP, an innovative non-surgical treatment option for osteoarthritis and other orthopedic conditions.

Dr. Mary Ambach specializes in non-surgical orthopedics, regenerative therapies, and interventional pain management. As a key thought leader in the field of Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Ambach conducts research, trains physicians, and lectures at international medical conferences.

Dr. Christopher Rogers is one of the world’s leading experts in orthopedic regenerative medicine and a renowned speaker at national medical conferences. He has developed new approaches for the treatment of tendon injuries, osteoarthritis, and disc degeneration which provide a safe and viable alternative to surgery.

Register For Our Free Webinar Here

Painful Orthopedic Conditions Can be Treated with Orthobiologics

Painful Orthopedic Conditions Can be Treated with Orthobiologics

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 1 in 5 Americans, more than 50 million people, suffer from chronic pain.  And, 20 million of these people suffer from pain that interferes with their lives every day.[i]  Advances in medicine provide new hope to those living with chronic pain.  Orthobiologics are products derived from your own cells and substances derived from those cells that are found naturally throughout the body.  They can be used to treat orthopedic conditions and in many cases, avoid the need for surgery. [ii]

Scientific evidence from years of research have shown that Orthobiologic therapies that use your own cells, such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) bring long-term pain relief and at the same time reduce degeneration and stimulate tissue healing.

Which conditions can be treated with Orthobiologics?

  • Joint pain due to osteoarthritis or meniscus tears
  • Shoulder pain due to rotator cuff tendon tears or tendinitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Golfer’s Elbow and Tennis Elbow
  • Sciatica
  • Chronic ankle ligament sprains
  • Low back pain due to degenerative discs or sacroiliac joint ligament injuries

The severity of injury as well as the patient’s overall health will influence the treatment’s ability to resolve these painful conditions.

How do Orthobiologics Work?

Stem cell therapies and platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatment offer unique healing capabilities.

Adult Stem Cells can be obtained from your own adipose tissue (fat) or bone marrow and produce molecules that directly form new blood vessels, reduce inflammation and encourage tissue healing.  The adipose and bone marrow tissues are obtained from the patient in the clinic with local anesthetic, prepared in a lab, and then injected into the anesthetized injury site.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) use platelet cells from your own blood to reduce inflammation and stimulate healing.  Plasma, the fluid part of blood, contains hormones, electrolytes and nutrients that nourish cells during the healing process.  Platelets are cells that release growth factors and proteins that promote tissue repair.

How to find the best doctor for you:

With more and more medical clinics offering cell based therapies, it is important to ask specific questions and demand specific answers about how these treatments are performed.

Ask your doctor these important questions:

  • Which products do you use? The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows the use of your own cells and tissues that are minimally manipulated for orthopedic conditions.  Commonly used tissues include your own blood, fat or bone marrow.  Donor-derived products, such as birth tissues (e.g. umbilical cord blood, amniotic fluid, placenta and exosomes) have not been proven to be safe or effective and are not permitted by the FDA for use in the United States.
  • Are you licensed to treat my medical condition? Orthopedic conditions are typically managed by board-certified orthopedic surgeons, physical medicine physicians, fellowship trained sports medicine physicians or pain management physicians.  Chiropractors, naturopaths and primary care physicians without specialized training are not trained to diagnosis or manage these types of medical conditions.
  • Does your clinic use the proper lab equipment designed to provide customized same-day treatments? The more advanced physicians who offer orthobiologic therapy can produce a variety of types of therapy, prepared with the highest standards of lab practice.
  • Are the treatments customized to my specific medical condition? Every person is unique and the treatment must be customized to fit your condition.
  • Do you use image guidance with x-ray or ultrasound to inject the orthobiologics into the correct tissues? Fellowship trained physicians have advanced training in the proper use of image guidance to ensure safety, efficacy and comfort.
  • Do you track your patient outcomes in a data registry or participate in clinical trials?
  • Do you publish scientific papers in the peer-reviewed medical journals?

When patients do their homework and ask the right questions they will find the best healthcare provider for their specific needs.  They will learn that orthobiologics can treat chronic orthopedic conditions without the need for major orthopedic surgery, enjoy a quick recovery and regain the quality of life that they deserve.

Drs. Christopher J. Rogers and Mary A. Ambach of San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group together have successfully treated thousands of patients with cell-based therapies for more than three decades. They are published authors and stem cell researchers.  The SDOMG facility in Carlsbad contains the most advanced Regenerative Medicine technology in San Diego and offers same day treatments with the highest level of safety, efficacy and patient satisfaction.

[i] https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6736a2.htm#:~:text=An%20estimated%2020.4%25%20(50.0%20million,adults%2C%20adults%20living%20in%20poverty%2C

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931137/#:~:text=%E2%80%9COrthobiologics%E2%80%9D%2C%20refers%20to%20the,are%20naturally%20found%20in%20body

What You Need to Know About Exosomes

What You Need to Know About Exosomes

What are Exosomes?

Exosomes are microscopic bubbles packed full of proteins and genetic material such as DNA and RNA.  When released from cells they allow those cells to communicate with each other. The molecules and genetic material direct cell behavior such as cell growth or differentiation.

In the past decade, interest in exosomes has exploded for several reasons.  First, they allow communication between cells and aid in tissue repair and regeneration.  Second, they have been proposed to be useful vehicles for drugs and could be used as therapeutic agents.  Third, they can be useful biomarkers of disease which aids in diagnoses and prognosis.

What is the difference between Exosomes and Stem Cells?

Stem cells are living things that have the ability to renew themselves and to turn into different kinds of cells. They contain thousands of molecules known to decrease inflammation, regenerate tissue and fight infection.  Exosomes are substances secreted by all cells, including stem cells.

During the repair process, different kinds of cells or molecules are needed at the different stages of healing. The stem cells act like the conductor in an orchestra, directing cells where to go and what to do.  They organize the complex symphony of cellular activity that leads to tissue healing.  Different types of exosomes are produced by the stem cells and released at different times depending upon the needs of the body.

Can we use manufactured products that contain exosomes to treat orthopedic conditions?

There are currently no FDA approved exosome products. These products require FDA approval before they can be marketed for use in patients.  Their safety and efficacy have not yet been proven.  Although they have the potential to repair injuries and regenerate tissues, there is still much to be learned about their behavior in the body.  Patients should avoid exosomes until research studies prove they are safe and effective.

Sources: 

https://bmcbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12915-016-0268-z

https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/consumers-biologics/consumer-alert-regenerative-medicine-products-including-stem-cells-and-exosomes

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1931524418300070

Regenerative Medicine:  What Can it Do For You?

Regenerative Medicine:  What Can it Do For You?

The field of Regenerative Medicine is based on the principle that the human body can heal itself.  Scientific discoveries in cellular biology, genetics and tissue engineering have been translated into treatments for previously untreatable conditions.  The American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), an international association representing individuals and institutions involved in cellular treatments, describes regenerative medicine as “the process of replacing or regenerating human cells, tissues or organs to restore or establish normal function.”.  

In the United States, Regenerative Medicine is a rapidly emerging field.  Yet the foundations of this practice date back to ancient civilizations where human anatomy was studied and documented.  Their findings were essential to the work of 18th and 19th century scientists who made huge breakthroughs in cellular biology.  Cellular research completed in the 1700s and 1800s has lent a great deal to our understanding of how cells divide and proliferate.  This knowledge continues to guide the advancements in the 21st century.[i]

Using cells to heal:

Since the first bone marrow cell transplant for the treatment of leukemia in 1968[ii], scientists and researchers have explored new ways to use Regenerative Medicine for the treatment of other medical conditions such as arthritis, disc degeneration and tendon injuries.

These regenerative treatments involve the use of a patient’s own cells to heal their injuries.  Orthopedic medicine physicians treat injuries of the joint, ligament, tendon and bone.  Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is the most commonly used orthopedic regenerative medicine treatment.  PRP is produced by concentrating the platelets in a sample of a patient’s own blood.  Platelets contain hundreds of growth factors that decrease inflammation and stimulate healing.  

Another regenerative therapy is by using Cells that are derived from a  patient’s own bone marrow and fat tissue. These Adult stem cells called Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are found in these tissues and have the ability to develop into bone, tendon or cartilage cells and are important to support growth and development.  In the body, they have been shown to stimulate cell growth, prevent cell death and inhibit pain or inflammation.

Prolotherapy is a form of regenerative therapy that does not involve the use of your own cells, but instead uses sugar water (dextrose) to stimulate a healing response in ligaments, tendons and joints.  

These treatments do much more than simply relieve pain caused by conditions such as tendon injuries, disc degeneration or arthritis.  They target the root cause of the pain and stimulate healing.  This gives new hope for patients wishing to avoid medications or surgery for the treatment of their painful sports injuries and chronic degenerative conditions.

Orthopedic Conditions treated with Regenerative Medicine:

Regenerative therapies have been studied in a variety of orthopedic conditions including:

  •   Knee pain – arthritis and patellar tendon tears
  •   Hip pain – arthritis and gluteal or hamstring tendon injuries
  •   Shoulder pain – arthritis and rotator cuff tendon tears 
  •   Low back pain – disc degeneration, facet joint and sacroiliac joint arthritis
  •   Neck pain – pinched nerves and facet joint arthritis
  •   Elbow pain – tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow
  •   Ankle and Foot pain – plantar fasciosis and arthritis
  •   Wrist and hand pain – carpal tunnel syndrome, tendon injuries and arthritis

Is it Safe?

Regenerative treatments use a patient’s own cells and can be performed safely, without the risk of disease transmission or immune reaction.  Advanced equipment is used to concentrate the cells and cellular molecules in the blood, bone marrow or fat tissues.  In the hands of a skilled physician, the use of ultrasound and digital x-ray image guidance permits the precise placement of the cells in the injury site, making the procedure safe, comfortable and effective.  Dozens of published scientific articles have documented the safety of cell therapy with some tracking patients’ outcomes for more than 10 years. 

However, there is a big difference between a board certified Regenerative Medicine specialist and “stem cell” clinics who merely sell umbilical cord blood, amniotic tissue or exosomes.  The use of these donor birth tissue products are not permitted by the FDA because they have not been tested for safety or efficacy.  They are typically sold by healthcare providers who do not have any Regenerative Medicine training and dozens of patients have been hospitalized with infections after the use of these contaminated products.

We recommend that you seek a board certified, fellowship trained physician who specializes in your medical condition and has extensive experience treating patients, conducting research and training other physicians.  Ask your physician about his or her Regenerative Medicine training experience and their use of evidence-based therapies.  These physicians conduct cell therapy research and track their patients’ outcomes in published regenerative medicine registries.

The work they are doing today will help shape the future of Regenerative Medicine, just as their predecessors did hundreds of years ago.

Drs. Christopher J. Rogers and Mary A. Ambach of San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group together have successfully treated thousands of patients with cell based therapies for more than three decades.  They are published authors and cell therapy researchers.  Their facility in Carlsbad contains the most advanced Regenerative Medicine technology in San Diego and offers same day treatments with the highest level of safety and efficacy.

 

[i] https://www.unmc.edu/regenerativemed/about/whatis/history.html

[ii] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213879X1500053X

 

 

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