How Regenerative Medicine Can Help Reduce the Need for Surgery

Musculoskeletal pain from a sports injury or arthritis can be debilitating. Knee, shoulder, elbow, or hip pain can make your world much smaller. Your pain may be so severe that you no longer engage in the activities you enjoy, whether it’s gardening, dancing, or sports. 

You may have been told you need surgery to repair the damaged tissue and surrounding joint. But surgery can involve lengthy recovery times and always carries risk. Regenerative medicine provides a new option for healing your body without painful surgery. 

If you’ve been using pain medication to ease your symptoms, regenerative medicine may help you reduce or eliminate your use of these drugs. All drugs have side effects, and long term use can damage your kidneys and liver. 

Regenerative medicine uses your body’s healing resources

Regenerative medicine works in two ways. First, it can use your tissues to marshal the healing resources in your body. Your Vanguard physician may recommend platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections as one way to calm your joint pain. 

PRP is becoming a popular method to rejuvenate body tissue. You give a sample of your blood, which is spun in a special machine called a centrifuge that separates the protein-rich platelets from the other parts of your blood. Then your doctor injects the platelets at the site of your injury. They release growth factors which help renew damaged cells and build healthy new cells. 

Your Vanguard physician may also recommend prolotherapy, another type of injection therapy that uses a sugar solution to stimulate your damaged tissue. This creates temporary inflammation; your body then produces an anti-inflammatory response which reduces your pain and helps you heal naturally.  

How regenerative medicine can use external tissue 

Regenerative medicine also relies on external tissue that may come from tissue engineering. Scientists now can grow tissues outside your body in a lab. The tissue engineering process develops extracellular matrices that include proteins and amino acids that help renew and support your damaged and worn-out cellular tissue. Artificial cartilage is an example of this process. The cartilage grows in the lab and then your Vanguard Spine & Sport physician puts the new cartilage in place around your aching joint. 

External tissue also comes from amniotic membrane allografts, or transplants. More than 200 nutrients exist in amniotic fluid and membrane. The nutrients contain ‘growth factors’ that help produce new collagen, an important protein, as well as promote the growth of new cells. The material in the amniotic membrane is anti-inflammatory. It can calm the inflammation associated with your injury or arthritis. The growth factors help grow new cartilage tissue that forms a better cushion between your bones, easing your pain. 

Regenerative medicine physicians at Vanguard Spine & Sport can infuse engineered tissue into your body to help the cartilage in your joints and ligaments heal from chronic disease or injury. As the new tissue stimulate bone and cartilage growth, replaces worn out knee cartilage, and aids regeneration of long bones, your pain can be greatly reduced or eliminated. 

Call or book an appointment online with Vanguard Spine & Sport for all of your musculoskeletal needs. 

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