Like any disease, early diagnosis, and treatment that emphasize the repair of the damaged tissue minimize complications later on in life. Regenerative medicine is now playing a large role in the treatment of osteoarthritis.
Regenerative medicine is becoming a more viable treatment for many of our patients. The purpose of regenerative medicine with regards to osteoarthritis is to restore the natural environment of the joint. We can use the body’s own natural components for healing and aid our bodies healing to make it even stronger.
There are essentially 3 generations of regenerative medicine treatments for osteoarthritis:
1. 1st level – The gel shot. This is called hyaluronate. It is essentially a synthetic version of your joint fluid that helps lubricate the joint in order to decrease friction, inflammation, and pain. This has been in use for over ten years now.
2. The next level, or 2nd generation of treatment, is a procedure called PRP, which stands for Platelet Rich Plasma.
• We have developed the technology where we can now extract the growth factors and stem cells that we all have in our own blood and get a concentrated dose. These are the same growth factors that stimulate your skin to heal when you cut your skin… 12 weeks later, you have new skin. PRP contains huge reservoirs of these growth factors, up to 7 times as many as in regular blood.
• With regards to osteoarthritis, the PRP decrease the inflammatory reaction in the joint, which is what is causing the pain, and helps the injured tissue scar down and heal. The best part of PRP is that we use your own blood, so there is minimal risk of complications.
3. 3rd Generation – Bone Marrow Concentrate Therapy (BMC)
• BMC therapy is a promising non-surgical regenerative treatment used to treat various chronic orthopedic injuries, including moderate to severe osteoarthritis and tendon injuries. BMC is a concentrate of regenerative stem cells obtained from the patient’s own bone marrow. This is the place in our body where we store the most stem cells.
• The physician removes a small amount of the patient’s bone marrow and process it with a machine that generates a powerful concentrate of stem cells and growth factors, up to 15 times as many as our own blood. In the past, these types of cells were often very difficult and expensive to obtain from the body. With recent medical advancements, the cells can be easily obtained and the procedure can be done with minimal discomfort by a simple office procedure.
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