What is Regenerative Medicine?
As the name implies, this field uses innovative bio-engineering to develop—or regenerate and repair—new tissue. The idea is to find ways to stimulate the body’s natural healing process. In many ways, regenerative medicine can be much less invasive than more traditional measures, such as surgery.
Regenerative Medicine Services
There are many different regimens that fall into this branch of medicine. Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic offers three out-patient regenerative medicine treatments:
Also known as sclerotherapy and ligament reconstructive therapy, prolotherapy is a permanent treatment for chronic pain conditions. Prolotherapy has an excellent record for reducing or eliminating chronic pain. Dr. Stowers has been performing prolotherapy injections for over thirty years at TOC with great success.
The treatment involves injections of a special solution into the painful area (usually a tendon or ligament), which then causes a natural healing process to occur. Collagen and other connective tissues are strengthened and pain is reduced.
Several injections spaced one to three weeks apart may be required to achieve maximum results. Prolotherapy uses the body’s natural healing ability to relieve chronic pain, strengthen injured tissues, and restore function. Prolotherapy is less expensive than other regenerative medicine treatments.
This treatment is over 90% effective in most cases.
PLATELET-RICH PLASMA (PRP) INJECTIONS
Platelets contain proteins that aid in rebuilding tissue. So by increasing the number of platelets in an injured area, the chance of recovery grows. To boost the count, doctors withdraw some blood from the patient and then use a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets. Those platelets are then injected into the affected part of the body. This method is used for sports and other injuries involving tendons and ligaments, osteoarthritis, and muscle strains.
BONE MARROW CONCENTRATE/STEM CELL THERAPY
Stem cells, growth cells, and platelets can grow into any cell needed by your body and can be a catalyst for healing. Degenerative orthopedic conditions and diseases even some injuries are treated through experimental stem cell therapy. A small amount of bone marrow tissue is withdrawn from the patient. Certain stem cells from the tissue are isolated and then the substance is injected into the area needing treatment. Patients receiving Bone Marrow Concentrate/Stem Cell Therapy also receive PRP injections at the same time at no additional costs.
The use of stem cell therapy for treatment of orthopedic conditions is not yet FDA approved.
Viscosupplementation is beneficial to many patients and is used in conjunction with the above mentioned regenerative medicine treatments. This is used to treat patients with knee pain due to osteoarthritis. Hyaluronic acid—a substance found naturally in the body—is injected into the knee joint. The gel-like fluid increases lubrication around the joints, allowing for smoother movement with less resistance. Unlike corticosteroid shots, which only treat a symptom of osteoarthritis—inflammation—viscosupplementation deals with the problem at hand and acts as a substitute for cartilage loss.