What is Regenerative Medicine?

REGENERATIVE MEDICINE

What is Regenerative Medicine?

Woman with knee arthritis preparing for Stem Cell Therapy

Regenerative Medicine in the area of orthopedics is a new field of medicine that enables a patient to harness and amplify their own body’s ability to heal itself using concentrated regenerative cells and growth factors. Stem cells are at the center of regenerative medicine and their use has continued to expand and gain mainstream exposure over the past few years. Stem cell therapy is a cutting-edge procedure that delivers concentrated cells and growth factors right to the point of injury stimulating a powerful healing response capable of regenerating and repairing tissue.

Platelet Rich Plasma Injection Therapy is a similar procedure that uses the healing properties of your blood platelets to turbo-charge your body’s ability to recover from injuries. When injury occurs in the body, blood flow is needed to supply the necessary cells and nutrients to drive the healing process. There are certain areas in the body that have very limited blood flow. When injured, these areas with poor blood flow are more difficult to heal than other tissues that have good blood flow. This is especially true of tendons and cartilage including meniscus. PRP Therapy is used to target these areas with advanced healing properties.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

Collecting platelet rich plasma after the separation process.

Plasma is the clear portion of the blood in which all the other blood components such as platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells travel. Platelets are part of the blood that circulate around the body ready to help stop the bleeding should you have a cut, broken bone or injury that bleeds internally. Besides containing clotting factors, the platelets release growth factors and proteins that help start the healing process. PRP contains a concentrated amount of platelets that release potent quantities of these growth factors and proteins to stimulate a robust healing response.

Many famous athletes — PGA’s Tiger Woods, NBA’s Kobe Bryant and Steph Curry, MLB’s Alex Rodriguez, tennis star Rafael Nadal, and several others — have received PRP for various problems such as sprained knees and chronic tendon injuries. This treatment technique is relatively new in the field of sports medicine, but has been gaining popularity quickly. Dr. Meyers has extensive experience with PRP as he has been providing this treatment to patients since 2007.

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Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cells, pictured in red, are attached to blood vessels.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) are remarkable cells located in many tissues of your body. One of the most important characteristics of MSCs is that they are unspecialized cells with the ability to mature and differentiate into multiple types of tissue including bone, tendon, ligament, cartilage, muscle and meniscus. In addition, these stem cells can self-renew, producing more stem cells. They can even prevent other cells from dying due to lack of oxygen and they can produce anti-inflammatory proteins.

When stem cells are injected into an arthritic joint or injured tendon, they attach to the areas of damaged tissue. The MSCs are able to sense the microenvironment of the injury and determine what kind of cells to grow and what molecules are needed to enhance tissue healing. The stimulated MSCs begin to grow new cells and also act as your body’s own natural drug store producing and releasing the right combination of growth factors and proteins to stimulate healing and new growth of cartilage, tendon and other injured tissues.

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