Dr. Christopher Rogers was honored to speak at the April 2021 La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club meeting. Topics of the lecture included a history of stem cell therapy in San Diego and an update on FDA-approved clinical trials for knee osteoarthritis. To see a copy of the lecture, visit the San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group YouTube channel or view the video linked below!
Regenerative medicine is a field in medicine that develops methods to regrow, repair, or replace damaged diseased cells, tissues or organs. It utilizes the body’s natural healing processes to rebuild damaged tissues and heal injuries. In the field of orthopedics, regenerative medicine holds great promise for helping patients with injuries or degeneration involving the musculoskeletal system.
Damage to the joints, ligaments, tendons, or discs can lead to chronic pain in various parts of the body including:
- Lower Back
- Feet and ankles
- Hands and wrists
- Elbows and Shoulders
Regenerative medicine addresses the reason for the pain by helping to heal and create new healthy tissues.
How Does it Work?
Regenerative treatments for orthopedic conditions use the patient’s own blood and tissues from bone marrow or fat to kick-start the body’s own healing processes. These cells are removed from the patient and concentrated to isolate the healing proteins, molecules, and nutrients they contain. These super-healers are then re-injected into the site of damaged tissue to encourage new cell growth and healing.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow the use of embryonic cells or birth tissue products for treating orthopedic conditions. However regenerative medicine physicians can use FDA-compliant autologous cellular products to treat musculoskeletal problems.
These autologous cell therapies include:
- Platelet Rich Plasma: Platelets in the patient’s own 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.
- Cell Based Therapies: Adult Stem Cells taken from the patient’s own fat tissue (adipose) or bone marrow have the unique ability to develop into the specific kind of cell needed and possess molecules that direct other cells in the injured area to form new blood vessels, awaken other stem cells and encourage newly forming cells to produce collagen and other proteins essential for creating new healthy tissues.
Prolotherapy (Proliferative Therapy) is a Regenerative injection using natural medications, specifically dextrose, that help the body jump-start its own natural healing response when injected into the injured area.
Is Regenerative Medicine Painful?
For many years, patients with unresolved chronic orthopedic pain were left to consider surgery as their last option and best hope for long-term pain relief. But with advancements in regenerative medicine, these patients can avoid major surgery and lengthy rehabilitation.
Regenerative treatments are injection procedures and unlike surgery, they do not involve the pain or risk of large surgical incisions. Blood, bone marrow, or fat tissue is collected, processed, and injected into injured tissue on the same day. These procedures are typically performed on an out-patient basis and recovery begins at home within hours of the treatment.
Ask the Right Questions, Get the Best Results
When considering regenerative medicine treatments, it is important that you do your research in selecting a physician that is highly skilled and experienced in regenerative medicine. The following are questions that you need to ask before making your decision. Patients get the best outcomes when the answer is “yes” to all these questions.
- Is the physician board-certified and specializes in diagnosing and treating orthopedic conditions? Examples include Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Sports Medicine, Orthopedics, Pain Management physicians.
- Do you use appropriate, advanced, FDA-compliant devices in the preparation of the cellular products that can deliver the best results?
- Are the treatments performed using imaging guidance to ensure precise delivery of the regenerative products to the site of the injury?
- Is the practice compliant with FDA regulations?
- Do you track your outcomes and present them at medical conferences or publish them in medical journals?
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 treatments 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
The physicians at San Diego Medical Group helped to create one of the largest Regenerative Medicine registries in the world. We would like to thank those patients who helped us to achieve this milestone. Our mission is to help patients make informed medical decisions about their healthcare.
By tracking the outcomes from Regenerative Medicine treatments, such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and other cell based therapies, DataBiologics intends to change the face of healthcare.
Regenerative medicine uses the natural healing capabilities of stem cells to help repair injured tissues. One of the biggest challenges facing practitioners of this exciting new medical subspecialty is helping patients understand that not all stem cells are the same.
The ABC’s of Stem Cells
Stem cells are unique because they have the ability to renew themselves and become different kinds of cells that are needed by the body. In fact, they are the only cells in the body that are capable of generating new cell types.[i] To better understand what kind of stem cells are used for orthopedic conditions, it is helpful to know that there are several different types.
Embryonic stem cells are derived from an embryo that develops from fertilized human eggs in the laboratory. They are used for research purposes only. There are no FDA approved treatments that use embryonic stem cells.
Stem cells derived from birth tissue products such as umbilical cord blood are approved for use in blood cancers and other blood disorders like sickle cell disease. However, the stem cells from umbilical cord blood and amniotic fluid are not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for any orthopedic indication. The safety and efficacy of these products have not been tested in orthopedic conditions and the FDA does not permit their use.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a specific type of adult stem cell that have the ability to differentiate into bone, cartilage and muscle cells.[ii] These stem cells are found in all tissues of our body in limited quantities, but they tend to exist in higher amounts in the bone marrow and adipose tissue (fat). For orthopedic applications, your physician may obtain these cells from your own (autologous) bone marrow or adipose tissue (fat). These tissues not only contain mesenchymal stem cells, they also contain other cells that are anti-inflammatory and regenerative. Once these cells are injected, they release hundreds of molecules that decrease inflammation, fight infection and repair injured tissues.
The Body: A Constant Work in Progress
There are more than 37 trillion cells in our body which are constantly dying and being replaced. There are more than 200 types of cells in our body and they each have different lifespans. Platelets live for a week, red blood cells live for about four months, bone and muscle cells live about 25 years, while brain cells can live a lifetime.
An injury or disease can hasten the death of cells. But often, the wear-and-tear of the natural aging process cause tissues to become damaged. Stem cell treatments enable regenerative medicine specialists to boost the body’s own natural healing abilities by bringing concentrated doses of these powerful building blocks directly to the site of injured or degenerated joint, cartilage or tissue.
Although regenerative medicine is a relatively new specialty within the field of orthopedics, cell-based treatments have been shown to be an effective non-surgical option for patients who have failed standard treatments or want to avoid surgery.
By combining the body’s own powerful healing capabilities with the latest in scientific and medical technology, orthopedic stem cell therapies provide lasting pain relief and help patients live their life fully.
Drs. Christopher Rogers and Mary A. Ambach have been providing cellular treatments for orthopedic conditions for more than three decades. Their clinical outcome data reveals that the majority of their patients are satisfied and successfully respond to these orthobiologic therapies which also demonstrate excellent safety.
Join our free webinar to learn about non-surgical treatments and therapies for rotator cuff tendon injuries. Gain information on cutting edge treatments like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and other cell-based therapies. Get answers to your questions from experts in the field of Regenerative Medicine.
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 the Webinar HERE
In the last few years, there have been great advances in the field of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Therapy. These treatments hold a great deal of promise for the treatment of a variety of orthopedic conditions. Most treatments are offered at your convenience in a medical clinic setting without the need for surgery.
What is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine is a multi-disciplinary field that aims to restore damaged or diseased tissues by utilizing the body’s own natural healing process. By bringing together many different disciplines such as cellular biology, genetics, and tissue engineering, Regenerative Medicine has revolutionized the way physicians can treat orthopedic conditions. Stimulating our body’s natural ability to heal and promote tissue regeneration has replaced many traditional treatment options such as steroid injections or surgery.
Stem Cell Therapy
According to the International Society for Stem Cell Research’s (ISSCR) president, Douglas Melton, “Stem cell science is rapidly transforming how we think about the future of medicine. The field is actively working to address how we facilitate getting potential therapies from the lab to the clinic.”
Stem cells have the ability to develop into many different types of cells in the body, which is why stem cell therapy is important in the field of regenerative medicine. There is constant advancement of research in the use of stem cell for replacement of damaged tissue or transplants, drug testing and development and regenerative medicine.
How are Stem Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine Related?
There is a direct connection to stem cell therapy and the practice of Regenerative Medicine which harnesses the body’s ability to heal itself and regrow tissues. The different types of stem cells, namely embryonic, adult, and induced pluripotent stem cells, are used in the field of developmental biology to study how cells behave. Stem cells are also used to test new to drugs for the treatment of various diseases and medical conditions. In the field of orthopedics, adult stem cells play a crucial role in the cell-based therapies used to treat orthopedic injuries such as knee osteoarthritis.
What Orthopedic Conditions Can Be Treated with Cell-Based Therapies?
- Knee 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
- Chronic ankle ligament sprains
- Low back pain due to disc degeneration or sacroiliac joint ligament injury
Regenerative medicine has entered the world of clinical practice thanks to quickly evolving technology and advancements in the understanding of how stem cells work in the body. As research continues, the field of Regenerative Medicine and stem cell therapy will continue to grow, providing doctors and their patients the ability to treat many conditions that were previously untreatable.