Whether you have a torn tendon or osteoarthritis in your knees, your goal is to get back to moving without pain and limitations as quickly as possible.
Our team here at Western Orthopaedics shares this goal, and we offer numerous services to that end. One area that shows great promise is our use of regenerative medicine for helping to heal a wide range of issues, some of which we review here.
Regenerative medicine explained
Before we get into the many conditions that we can treat with regenerative medicine, let’s take a look at exactly what we mean by this term.
The widely accepted goal of regenerative medicine is, “replacing, engineering, or regenerating human cells, tissues, or organs lost or injured due to age, disease, or congenital defects to restore or establish normal function.”
At our practice, we offer two types of regenerative medicine:
1. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy
The platelets in your blood play a significant part in your natural wound-healing cascade thanks to the numerous growth factors they contain. When platelets arrive on the scene of damaged tissue, they release these growth factors, which call upon regenerative resources in your body, such as anti-inflammatory proteins and stem cells.
With PRP therapy, we collect, isolate, and concentrate your platelets and then inject the cells into damaged tissues.
2. Stem cell therapy
Stem cells are unique cells in your body, as they have the ability to transform into other cells and then multiply as that cell. In fact, stem cells are the building blocks upon which most all other cells are formed.
Through stem cell therapy, we harvest your own stem cells from your bone marrow or adipose tissue, or we use donor cells, and inject these cells into your damaged tissues to help with regeneration and repair.
Conditions we commonly treat with regenerative medicine
The use of regenerative medicine is an exciting area, and medical fields of all kinds are turning to this form of medicine. As orthopaedic experts, we use regenerative medicine to help our patients heal from musculoskeletal injuries and damage of all kinds, including:
- Torn tendons, such as rotator cuff injuries
- Tendonitis, such as Achilles tendonitis
- Damaged ligaments, such as anterior cruciate ligament tears
- Damaged cartilage, such as meniscus tears
- Bone fractures
In addition to these conditions, we often use regenerative medicine to help patients heal more quickly with less pain after surgery.
How effective is regenerative medicine?
Regenerative medicine is an emerging field, and early studies show great promise. For example, one report that reviewed a number of studies on stem cell therapy for tendon damage found that, “The controlled trials reported superior patient-reported outcomes and better tendon healing.”
Another study on using PRP therapy after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair found that, “Applying PRP within arthroscopic repair of rotator cuff can decrease postoperative pain.”
If you’d like to explore whether regenerative medicine should be part of your treatment plan, contact one of our offices in Arvada or Denver, Colorado, to learn more.