Regenerative medicine, or cellular therapy, has become a hot topic in the medical field over the past few years. It has been widely used for tissue engineering, creating artificial organs, repairing damaged tissue, hair loss and skin rejuvenation. Regenerative medicine offers solution to repair and restore the structure of damaged tissue and regain its function. The use of cellular therapy is a great management technique that uses one’s own cells as a personalized medicine to treat various wear and tear conditions in orthopedic medicine, and can often prevent the need for surgery.
How Does Regenerative Medicine Work?
Our body has the ability to repair minor tissue trauma within days, such as skin cuts. Although, when large tissue is damaged due to severe injury or prolonged inflammation, the body’s repair system will not be able to repair the extent of damage. In that case, by delivering specific type of cells to the injury site which boost the body’s ability to regenerate and restore the tissue structure and its function, this is also known as cellular therapy. Stem cell therapy is meant to boost your body’s natural healing pathways.
What Cells Are Used In Regenerative Medicine?
Depending on the problem you are targeting with cellular therapy form you are undergoing and, various cells can be used. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a mixture of concentrated platelets suspended in one’s own plasma that is a natural composition of the blood found in your veins and arteries. These platelets contain bodies, that can be released when triggered by an injury or problem. When released, the contents of the bodies in the platelets, is a myriad of proteins that will signal other cells to come and help out with healing as well as turn off or turn on specific biological processes. Stem cells are collected from the bone marrow, fat, peripheral blood, and they can differentiate to different variety of cells to cater to the cells that needs to be rejuvenated. There are many forms of cellular therapy that can be used, yet, they are all-natural cells collected from the patients, processed then injected back into the patients problematic area.
What Does Regenerative Medicine Treat?
Any Risks Involved In Receiving Cellular Therapy?
Generally there are minimal risks to undertake cellular therapy except for pain associated with injection, and this is well documented.
Is Cellular Therapy Painful?
Cellular injections are considered minimally invasive methods, as the majority of the methods are based on the use of peripheral blood and bone marrow samples. These cells are frequently introduced through injections. Some patients feel discomfort and regional anesthesia is usually introduced to ease the pain. Sedation does not counteract with the efficiency of regenerative medicine, thus it can be introduced to avoid any pain or discomfort during the procedure.
Do you have painful arthritis in one or both of your knees?
If so, you need to know about joint fluid replacement. Also known as viscosupplementation, this non-surgical treatment for knee arthritis can decrease your pain and improve your mobility. Many people who want to delay knee replacement surgery or who are not candidates for surgery can benefit from this procedure.
What is viscosupplementation?
Your knee contains a joint fluid called synovial fluid. Within the joint fluid is a protein called hyaluronate (also called hyaluronic acid or hyaluronan), which helps lubricate and cushion the joint. Hyaluronic acid also has an anti-inflammatory effect and stimulates your body to make more of its own hyaluronate.
When your knee joint begins to degenerate and develop arthritis, the hyaluronate breaks down, decreasing the natural lubrication and cushioning it normally provides. Viscosupplementation is an injection of hyaluronic acid administered directly into the knee joint to restore the cushioning and lubricating properties of healthy joint fluid.
How many injections will I need?
Depending on the product used, viscosupplementation injections are typically given once a week for 3 to 5 weeks.
What are the benefits of viscosupplementation and how long do they last?
Most patients experience significant pain relief from joint fluid replacement injections, along with increased range of motion. It's important to note that the pain relief is gradual, sometimes taking from 4 to 6 weeks to reach its maximum effect. After that, pain relief may last from 6 months to a year or more. We can repeat the injections every 6 months or as needed.
Is it safe and are there any side effects?
Viscosupplementation was approved by the FDA in 1997 and is a safe, quick, and effective procedure performed in our office. Most patients do not experience any side effects. If they do occur, side effects may include a local reaction to the injection, pain, swelling, redness, or bruising, usually resolving on their own in a few days.
After each injection, we recommend that you avoid excessive activity for 48 hours and ice the knee for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day. We also recommended physical therapy and a home exercise program after the injections. Physical therapy can help strengthen the knee and prolong the effectiveness of the injections.
Don't live another day in pain. If your knee arthritis has not responded to more conservative therapies such as weight loss, activity modification, physical therapy, cortisone injections, or over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or anti-inflammatories, you might be a candidate for joint fluid replacement.