There are dramatic examples of the regenerative powers in living organisms — the lizard that can regrow a tail or the octopus a new tentacle. Humans also contain regenerative capabilities, but our resources aren’t as strong, and they can weaken with age. Through regenerative medicine, our goal is to make up these deficits to help your body heal from within.
In the following, we explore how regenerative medicine tackles damaged tissues and whether this approach to healing may be right for you.
The human body is designed to be self-sufficient, which means it should contain all it needs to sustain optimal health. Thanks to our busy lives, toxic environments, and increasing longevity, however, our regenerative resources can be overwhelmed, which is where regenerative medicine comes in.
Regenerative medicine is an area of science that aims to regenerate human cells, tissues, and/or organs to restore function by tapping into and amplifying our own healing resources.
While we’re just scratching the surface in terms of harnessing these capabilities, we’ve had great success in helping musculoskeletal damage heal more quickly and more strongly thanks to what we do know.
Let’s first start with platelets, which is one of the four main components of our blood. Platelets are primarily responsible for clotting your blood, but their jobs don’t end there. Once your platelets plug up the breach, they release growth factors and proteins at the site of the damage that encourage healing and repair.
At our practice, we offer platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and platelet lysate therapies in which we isolate, concentrate, and redirect your platelets to where you need them most.
Using a system designed by Regenexx, we extract your own growth factors from your platelets to create platelets lysate, which we inject into your damaged tissues.
Another powerful regenerative resource in the human body are stem cells, which have the incredible ability to transform into other cells and then multiply as that cell. Stem cells are strongest and most numerous in embryonic development, but, as an adult, you still carry stem cells.
These stem cells are mostly located in your bone marrow, and we access them through a technique called aspiration. Once we collect these stem cells, we create a concentrate that we inject into your problematic tissues.
If you’re suffering from cartilage damage, the problem is tough to address, as your cartilage doesn’t contain any blood vessels, which means it can’t readily repair itself. To restore function to your joint through healthier cartilage, we access A2M protein molecules from your blood and direct them into your damaged cartilage.
If you’re suffering from musculoskeletal damage, the odds are good that our regenerative medicine services can play a role in healing and repairing the tissues. To give you an idea of the wide range of problems we can address through regenerative medicine, we’ve successfully used these therapies to address:
While we often use regenerative medicine to help patients avoid surgery, we can also use it to speed up recovery after a surgical intervention.
If you’d like to explore the power of regenerative medicine further, contact one of our 16 locations.