What is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine is a field of therapy that harnesses the regenerative properties of certain cells in your own body to help heal diseased or damaged tissues and organs. It uses the body’s tissue components to replace lost tissue, accelerate healing and recovery, and provide pain relief.
Regenerative medicine focuses on 3 areas:
- Improving the body’s ability to heal
- Replacing lost organs and tissue with healthy tissue from a donor
- Using stem cells, which have the capability of transforming into any type of tissue, as well as cell products such as growth factors to restore tissue and organ function.
Regenerative medicine is useful in the treatment of bone, cartilage, tendon, muscle, nerve and soft tissue injuries as well as chronic wounds that were previously thought to be irreparable.
Why Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine-based therapy is increasingly being recommended in the management of various orthopedic conditions due to its diverse benefits listed below.
- It uses natural components of your body tissues, thus reducing the risk of adverse reactions or infection.
- In addition to regenerating tissues, it also provides pain relief.
- Certain degenerative conditions and injuries which were previously only treated by surgery may now show significant improvement with regenerative medicine, delaying or altogether avoiding the need for surgery. This is particularly beneficial for the aged and those with health conditions in whom surgery is not recommended.
- In combination with surgery, it enhances healing and recovery.
- Regenerative medicine procedures take no more than 2 hours and you can return to your activities in a day or two, making it ideal for sports professionals and those who do not wish to be disabled by a surgical procedure and a long recovery period.
- The effects of treatment are usually long lasting and may be repeated if necessary.
The two forms of Regenerative Medicine used in orthopedics are:
Bone Marrow Aspirate (BMA)
BMA is obtained after processing bone marrow that is removed from your pelvic bone. BMAC is rich in stem cells, which produce proteins and growth factors necessary for healing and reducing inflammation.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
PRP is obtained from your own blood after it has been processed to concentrate platelets and certain white blood cells that enhance healing and reduce inflammation. PRP may be injected directly into the damaged tissue during an outpatient procedure or following repair surgery.
The procedures are minimally invasive and often performed in the relaxed setting of a clinic with a quick recovery. Following these procedures, surgery is often unnecessary, but they can also be performed with surgery to improve outcomes.