Regenerative medicine is an expanding area of healthcare having widespread applications. It literally means “process of replacing, engineering or regenerating human cells, tissues or organs to restore or establish normal function”. The mainstream media and ones’ own imagination is captured by tissue engineering at it extremes, an example being tissue culture cells to design an organ like trachea (windpipe). That sounds fascinating isn’t it?
However, the more widespread use of regenerative medicine is in augmenting / enhancing our ones own body’s healing process, most aptly utilising in a range of orthopaedic conditions like arthritis, tendon problems, ligament problems, cartilage problems. It is an attractive treatment option since it is minimally invasive alternative to surgery.
When the body’s own healing process of its own tissues (like muscle, tendon, ligament or cartilage) is inadequate, regenerative medicine can be used to augment the body’s healing to partially and sometimes fully heal damaged tissue. Delivering this treatment without surgery using simple precisely placed needles is a major attraction in pursuing this therapy. The pivotal word here is “Precision” – since the treatment has to be delivered precisely using the help of x-ray or ultrasound guidance.
This therapy is not new, but recent advances in this field have opened out new frontiers for deserving patients. There are a range of options in regenerative therapy, the commonest being Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and stem cells.
PRP Therapy in orthopaedic and sports medicine has emerging with widespread role due to its ease of availability and modest cost. PRP is intended to augment healing and tissue growth factors. It has shown to be useful in treating a number of conditions including:
Arthritis of the knee, hip, shoulder or ankle
Meniscal tears and labral tears.
Ligament injuries (AC sprains, MCL tears, etc.)
Muscle strains and tears.
Articular cartilage injuries and defects.
Tendinopathies and tendon tears such as rotator cuff, patellar tendon, Achilles tendon injuries as well as tennis and Golfer’s elbow.
Stem Cells in its various forms (Pure stem cell culture, Adipose stem cells, Bone marrow concentrates) are intended to conform and take the characteristics of tissue cells at site of injection to promote tissue healing /regeneration. Its cost coupled with still evolving evidence base limits its widespread utility in common conditions like arthritis, tendinosis and ligament strains.
Your ReLeaf pain doctors are well placed to discuss and address your persistent pain issues. Their experience and precision in diagnosis as well as fluoroscopy (x-ray guided) or ultrasound guided procedures means the therapy will be precisely delivered to your pain generating tissue / structure.