For some conditions, conservative and even surgical treatments do not solve the problem. Cutting-edge research has been looking at methods to use our body’s own cells to create new or improved tissue. There are several types of regenerative medicine, most of which involve injecting cells into the problem zone.
A procedure is done to harvest cells from either your bone marrow or adipose (fat) tissue. A process is done to isolate the stem cells and they are then concentrated and injected into your problem zone. Stem cells are un-differentiated, meaning they can become the same tissue that we are trying to restore.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
A blood draw is performed. The blood is then centrifuged to separate out growth factors. This is then injected into your problem tissue. Growth factors stimulate the production of new cells in the tissue they are injected into.
Prolotherapy (proliferation therapy)
An injection is performed to create a mild irritant to re-start the body’s own healing response to lay down new tissue. The injection is typically saline (salt water) or dextrose (sugar water).
Whole blood, autologous blood: these techniques are not commonly done any longer. They are more crude and PRP and Stem Cell are refined versions.
What conditions are treated by regenerative medicine?
PRP and Stem Cell
When should I consider regenerative medicine?
If you have already seen an orthopedic specialist physical therapist for treatment without success, you might consider one of these treatment options. If you have not tried targeted physical therapy and would like to try that first, give us a call. These injections are not covered by insurance and are therefore an out-of-pocket expense.
Following an injection, a specific post-injection rehab program is required. This is performed by our physical therapists and covered by insurance. Exercise and specific load progressions are the stimulus for tissue adaptations so you can return to the activities you love. If there is no demand on the tissue, there is no need for it to become stronger, healthier, more resilient.
Our program is developed in conjunction with orthopedic surgeons who perform regenerative medicine injections. It is based on multiple research papers studying the appropriate progressions following injection and designed to progress you through the appropriate loading program for full return to activity.
If you are interested
Give us a call and we can talk with you about your condition and providers who offer this treatment locally. If you are interested in our program after your injection, give our office a call right away. We typically schedule our first appointment prior to your injection to outline the program, give the exercises for the immediate post-injection phase, and set the follow up appointment at the appropriate timeline.