The emerging field of regenerative medicine utilizes your body's natural healing potential to initiate, accelerate or improve the healing process on a cellular level. Regenerative medicine be an option if you have failed other conservative treatments and can potentially reduce the need for surgical intervention.
Regenerative cells are found naturally in the blood, bone marrow, and adipose (fat). By collecting, concentrating, and injecting these cells, your body can use them for soft tissue repair, bone and cartilage regeneration, increased blood supply, and stimulation of the wound healing process.
The three regenerative options available are Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC), and adipose-derived cells (AdiPrep). All three of these therapies utilize your tissues (blood, bone marrow, or adipose), and all three are collected, processed, and injected during a single visit. Our physicians and support staff can help you determine which option is best for your condition.
PRP is used to help with soft tissue healing. A small amount of your blood is withdrawn and concentrated in a centrifuge to reduce the fluid present and separate the healing cells, including platelets. Once concentration is complete, the remaining volume is injected directly to the site of injury.
Platelets contain high levels of signaling proteins called growth factors which are integral in the healing process. Growth factors stimulate healing, recruit stem cells, regulate inflammation, and improve blood supply to the treatment area. By concentrating platelets and thus growth factors, we are amplifying your natural healing potential.
BMAC is another way to promote healing using your cells. Bone marrow contains a rich supply of stem and other progenitor cells. By removing bone marrow from the pelvis thru a small incision and placing it in a centrifuge for concentration, we capture these cells in a small volume 4-6 times what is found naturally in the bone marrow. These cells are then injected directly into the site of injury.
The cells found in BMAC support the repair of bone, cartilage, muscle, marrow, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissue.
AdiPrep is the newest of regenerative medicine therapies. A small amount of adipose tissue is harvested (typically from your abdomen) using a solution that helps to eliminate the pain. Once harvested, the adipose is placed in a proprietary concentration system that will remove the harvesting solution and pro-inflammatory oils. The latter two can be detrimental to the healing process, so elimination of these components is key. Once processing is complete, your pure adipose tissue is ready for injection.
Adipose tissue is a rich source of stem cells. Through concentration and purification of your adipose, we can deliver a cell-rich graft to your injection site. Though adipose is rich in stem cells, it is void of platelets. It is not uncommon for your provider to want to enrich your adipose graft with PRP to increase the overall healing capabilities of your injection therapy.
Unlike most injection therapies, regenerative medicine should be considered a procedure with a recovery period to allow the healing process to take place on a cellular level. Though we expect you to notice some improvement in the weeks following your regenerative injection therapy, significant improvement typically takes 3-6 months. After these procedures, we recommend you perform daily activities but avoid overuse of the injected area to achieve the best results. Our staff will assist you with planning your recovery from your regenerative therapy.
Consult your primary care provider before stopping any prescription medications. Additionally, please let a member of our staff know what medications you are currently taking. To help maximize the effectiveness of these treatments, we suggest that you please AVOID NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen, Naprosyn (Aleve), Aspirin (unless prescribed by another provider), or prescription anti-inflammatories for six weeks after the procedure.
It is common to have some discomfort at both the harvest and injection sites with any of these therapies. The pain is temporary and can be managed easily with the assistance of our team. You are encouraged to utilize ice or heat to assist with pain following this procedure. You may also take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) as needed for pain. It is most beneficial to take two regular strength Acetaminophen (325mg each) or two extra-strength Acetaminophen (500mg each) 4x/day for baseline pain control in the first week after the procedure.
These regenerative therapies are being studied extensively and have been used to help treat chronic tendon injuries, acute injuries, and osteoarthritis. They improve healing through building new tissue and signaling for help from the other cells in your body. Though results cannot be guaranteed, the risks are low, given the cells are from your own body. Most insurance companies do not cover these regenerative options at this time, but our office offers this service at a reasonable cost. If you are interested in regenerative medicine for your treatment, please contact our office to find out which options may work for you.