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.