Joint replacement surgery has been around for years, and many people who have received an artificial knee, hip or shoulder have been able to regain movement and reduce pain. However, experts agree that a man-made artificial joint is not as effective as a healthy, natural joint. Also joint replacement has many downsides, including the risk of anesthesia and undergoing the major surgery, the possible need for revision surgery if the artificial prosthesis wears out prematurely, blood clots, persistent pain after surgery as well as a lengthy recovery period.
The best physicians agree that patients should explore non-surgical options first before pursuing surgery, even if these non-surgical treatments delay the need for surgery by only a few months or years. These treatments may include bracing, anti-inflammatory medication, steroid or viscosupplement injections (rooster comb or gel shots), or specialized physical therapy.
New advances in medical technology and health sciences now allow for additional non-surgical options for those struggling with painful arthritis, ligament tears and joint damage. This new field of orthopedics is called Regenerative Orthopedics.
Regenerative Orthopedics enables a person to amplify their own body’s ability to heal itself by utilizing certain cells that are already in that persons body, specifically in their fat. While this may sound implausible, the results are very real. According to published research, Regenerative Orthopedics — specifically Stem Cell Therapy — for knee arthritis results in 58-68% improvement in pain and 67-83% improvement in function one to two years after treatment.
Regenerative Orthopedics includes two major treatment options.
- Stem Cell Therapy – This 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 repairing damaged tissue. At our clinic, we only source these cells from fat in your own body – not from amniotic fluid, placental tissue or umbilical cord blood.
- Platelet Rich Plasma – Similar to Stem Cell Therapy, this procedure uses the healing properties of platelets (found in your blood) 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, and when injured, have a difficult time healing. This is especially true of tendons and cartilage including meniscus. PRP Therapy is used to target these areas with advanced healing properties. Many famous athletes — PGA’s Tiger Woods, NBA’s 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.
With all of the misleading information in the news and online about “Stem Cell” treatments, it is important to understand the science behind these treatments. For instance, “Stem Cell” procedures using amniotic, placental or umbilical tissues are not “Stem Cell” procedures as they contain NO LIVE CELLS! In our center, we start by using liposuction to harvest fat from the patient’s own belly region. This fat tissue is one of the richest sources of stem cells, with 500 to 1000 times more concentration of stem cells than bone marrow.
For those interested in learning more about how Regenerative Orthopedics may be able to help you overcome arthritis or other joint pain, I encourage you to request an appointment by completing the “Are You a Candidate” form.