Enhancing Your Body’s Healing Process With Regenerative Medicine
Orthopaedic injuries and conditions affect millions of patients every day around the world. When patients have exhausted conservative measures to treat these conditions, surgery is usually the next step. But what if there was a treatment that could help your body heal itself, allowing you to delay or even avoid surgery? Regenerative therapy may be the answer you are looking for!
The Growing Field of Regenerative Medicine
Our body has a remarkable ability to heal itself when injured. This is especially true for injuries to our soft tissue, such as our muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Unfortunately, depending on where the injury occurs and how bad it is, our body may be unable to completely heal on its own.
Regenerative therapy utilizes the same repair mechanisms our bodies use to jump-start the healing process
The goal of our providers is to help get our patients back to the way they were prior to their injuries. In the past, orthopaedic surgeons have been limited in how they could treat these injuries. Although our surgeons employ minimally invasive techniques to help our patients heal faster, these approaches are only effective and appropriate for some patients. While the surgical approaches we use will ultimately help restore your body’s function, patients may face a long and painful recovery and rehabilitation process.
Today, advancements in science and technology have given us another treatment option that speeds up the recovery process. Regenerative therapy utilizes the same repair mechanisms our bodies use to jump-start the healing process for damage to your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Performed in-office, these techniques take the healing components from your body and place them directly at the site of injury. These procedures are minimally invasive, highly effective, and require significantly less rehabilitation compared to traditional surgical intervention.
What Are Regenerative Therapies?
When injuries occur in our soft tissue, the body’s first response is to pump blood into the area. This bleeding lays the foundation for the healing response and provides a way for the various healing factors to reach the injury. Unfortunately, there are several areas around our body that have a lack of blood flow, such as in and around our joints – and no blood flow equals no way to transport the healing components to the injured area.
With the help of modern technology, regenerative therapy allows us to take some of these healing components from your own body and place them exactly where you need them most. With their help, we are able to jump-start and accelerate the healing process.
Our blood is made up of four main components – plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. While platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood, they also play an important role in wound and soft tissue healing, thanks to hundreds of proteins including growth factors and cytokines. These proteins help to stimulate and speed up the healing process by attracting other cells into the wound and rapidly increasing their numbers.
After obtaining a small portion of our patient’s blood, our providers use a specialized centrifuge to separate the blood into its individual components. This allows them to isolate the component in blood that is rich in platelets and discard the rest. Our providers then inject the platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, into the joint or tendon to facilitate the healing process.
While each cell in our body has a specific purpose, stem cells themselves do not serve any single purpose. What makes them unique is that, with the right stimulation, these cells are able to turn into any specific cell that the body needs.
There are different types of stem cells, but adult stem cells are the only ones with demonstrated efficacy in treating orthopaedic injuries. Also called mesenchymal stem cells, adult stem cells can be found in our body throughout our lives. Used to keep up with the day-to-day maintenance of our body, these stem cells are regularly used to produce new body tissues like skin and muscle cells.
With their ability to multiply and self-renew indefinitely into different tissue types, our providers are able to use adult stem cells to help improve the natural healing process and allow for both pain relief and accelerated recovery.
Based on current research, the most effective adult stem cells for orthopaedic injuries are derived from bone marrow, due to their ability to turn into bone, cartilage, muscle, tendons, or ligaments. Harvesting adult stem cells is very safe, with little discomfort and a fairly easy recovery. After a local anesthetic is injected in the area, our physicians extract a sample of bone marrow from the patient’s pelvic bone. This sample is then spun in a specialized centrifuge to separate the beneficial components, including stem cells and growth factors, from the rest of the blood cells. The remaining agents are then combined and injected directly into the injured site using precise image guidance to accelerate tissue and bone healing.
Is Regenerative Medicine Therapy Right For You?
Although each patient is unique, regenerative therapies are effective for many patients. Used by professional athletes around the world, these therapy techniques allow patients to get back in the action as quickly as possible. However, for older patients, these treatments can also be life-changing.
Our providers are able to use adult stem cells to help improve the natural healing process and allow for both pain relief and accelerated recovery
Used to treat many orthopaedic injuries and conditions, regenerative medicine can help you:
Increase your healing potential
Decrease your pain
Increase your joint function
Improve your recovery time
Decreased your time away from sport or daily activities
We are proud to offer a comprehensive range of treatment options for our patients. Don’t suffer from nagging joint pain and loss of mobility any longer. We invite you to call us at 703.444.5000 or click here to request an appointment with one of the physicians at Arthritis & Sports. To stay up-to-date on the latest news and tips from us, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for our monthly newsletter for even more information sent straight to your inbox!