What is regenerative medicine?
Regenerative medicine in orthopedics is a non-surgical treatment that can activate your own adult stem cells to repair injured tissues, reduce inflammation and stop pain. Following FDA guidelines, the procedures at Regen Orthopedics utilize your body’s own growth factors, including adult stem cells or blood platelets, to potentially stimulate healing and speed repair for bone, muscle, joint, soft tissue and nerve injuries. It takes the healthy, regenerative cells from an area in which they are more concentrated, and injects them into the injured area of the body. The therapy enables your body to better heal itself. Watch more here.
Dr. Bullock discusses how regenerative medicine works in this 15 minute webinar here.
What types of injuries and conditions does this help?
These therapies can be used for acute injuries but may be especially helpful in treating patients with chronic pain that has not responded to traditional treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injection, physical therapy or surgery. Regenerative medicine can help a number of common conditions: arthritis, tendinitis/tendinosis, painful conditions of the spine, back and neck, knee pain, shoulder pain and joint pain of all types, sports injuries, meniscus tears, ligament sprains, plantar fasciitis, compression nerve injuries. See a full list of conditions.
Watch more here.
How can advanced stem cell treatments help?
Regenerative medicine treatments activate your body’s own adult stem cells and blood platelets to stimulate healing and speed repair for bone, muscle, joint, soft tissue and nerve injuries.
We all have healing stem cells in our bodies. Primarily found in bone marrow and fatty tissue, these cells act as repairmen and can regenerate into the type of cell that is needed when injected into an injured area. There are several different kinds of stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are the type that we use in orthopedic treatments.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells
MSCs have the strongest potential to repair muscle, bone, joint and soft tissue injuries. These cells have the ability to self-replicate, reduce inflammation and differentiate into cartilage, bone, muscle and fat cells to help the body regenerate the lost tissue in the injured area.
They activate your body’s ability to heal itself.
What treatments are used?
Our regenerative therapies include Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC) therapies. These are being used to effectively alleviate a number of chronic orthopedic conditions, including arthritis, sports injuries, tendinitis/tendinosis, nerve injuries and more. Regenerative medicine can be particularly useful for patients who no longer find relief from traditional treatments like cortisone injections.
Can anyone have this procedure?
Regenerative medicine is an alternative for those who have been recently injured or in chronic pain, as well as those who are looking to avoid surgery, prolong the need for surgery, or who just may not be a candidate for surgery. Some patients look to it as a way to avoid ongoing steroid treatment for pain. There are rarely age limits to these procedures. The physician will decide at the initial consultation if you are a candidate.
In most cases, these therapies are helping patients who have failed conventional treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, physical therapy, surgery and rest. The first step, is to find out if you are a candidate. We offer consultations to evaluate the injury and explore individualized treatment plans for each patient. The initial consultation is covered by insurance. The success rates of the regenerative procedures are multifactorial and will be discussed at your initial appointment.
VIDEO: Who can benefit from these procedures?
VIDEO: What makes a good candidate and what may prevent you from being able to have the procedure?
When do you see results from this therapy?
Regenerative medicine stimulates a healing response in your body that takes some time. Most patients typically experience pain relief and improved mobility within 2-6 weeks. The outcome of each treatment depends upon the site treated and severity of the injury as well as the patient’s own healing potential. The body may continue to heal at the injured site for up to six months after the procedure. Pain relief and increased mobility can last for several years. Watch more here.
What does the procedure entail?
Carefully guided ultrasound is used to find a sample of stem cells or platelets, extract them and then concentrate the tissue in a stem cell centrifuge. The sample is then injected at the site of an injured tendon, ligament, muscle, bone or joint, again using ultrasound to guide the procedure. A local anesthetic is used at the injection site. It’s similar to a steroid injection. All of this is done in one visit and takes a little more than an hour. Watch more here.
What is PRP and how does it work?
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is a concentrated form of your own platelets obtained by processing your blood in a special centrifuge. When an injury occurs, platelets naturally begin the healing process in your body. The platelets release signaling proteins that attract your body’s stem cells to the injured area. By injecting concentrated PRP into an area of concern, your body will recognize this site as a priority to heal it more quickly and thoroughly.
What is BMC and how does it work?
Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC) is a procedure in which the physician removes your body’s own stem cells and concentrates them into a sample to inject into the injured area(s). The high concentration of stem cells works directly at the injury site to increase the healing potential. Watch more here.
What is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is an injection procedure used to treat connective tissue injuries of the musculoskeletal system that have not healed through conservative treatment. Also known as “proliferative” or sclerotherapy, the purpose of doing these procedures is to induce an inflammatory response in an attempt to promote healing to an area. We do this by injecting an irritant (usually dextrose or sugar water) into the injured area. In many cases, this helps to reduce pain, improve function and stability of the treated area.
Prolotherapy has been helpful in treating:
• Many forms of back pain
• Sacroiliac (SI) Joint pain
• Sternoclavicular Joint Pain
• Trigger points
• Chronic muscle pain
• Baker’s cysts of the knee
• Unstable Joints
Prolotherapy is considered a safe, and affordable alternative to surgery that allows patients to continue training and/or working during treatment. The treatments will typically be administered every one, two or three weeks, as determined by your physician.
How do you determine the proper treatment for an injury?
This decision, made by the physician, is individualized and based on personal experience as well as the experience of other practitioners around the world who perform similar procedures. Depending on the severity of the injury and/or disease some diagnoses require PRP alone, some BMC alone and others benefit from a combination of PRP/BMC.
Will the injections be painful?
There is some discomfort in obtaining the bone marrow aspirate, which is minimized by using light sedation, a local anesthetic and pain medication prior to the procedure. A varying degree of discomfort is also associated with the initial injection of the local anesthetic at the injured area; however there should be minimal pain during the administration of the PRP or BMC.
Usually the anesthetic lasts for a couple of hours. Discomfort may be experienced for the first 24 to 72 hours after injection, during the healing process. The physician may prescribe a pain medication to help you manage. Over the counter pain medications can also be used.
How long before I can resume activity?
This is an outpatient procedure that results in little down time for the patient. You will be able to walk out of the office and should be able to resume low-impact activities within a couple days. We do suggest patients rest after the procedure to allow the healing process to begin. But most can return to their normal activities within about three days. A customized plan would be developed for you based on your activity level. Watch more here.
How many treatments will it take to heal my injury?
The vast majority of our patients only require one treatment. Rarely will a patient require more than three, and often that may only be in the case of an athlete that overuses the joint treated too soon. For example, think of a skier who goes out and pounds downhill moguls too soon after a knee procedure. After each treatment a follow up will be scheduled at about 6-8 weeks out to determine the next course of action.
How will I know if I need more treatments?
Our goal is to have 80-90% improvement in pain and function. This can vary depending on the severity of your condition and the intensity of your activity level during the healing process. Specific goals will be made for you at an initial consultation.
Is PRP/BMC covered by insurance?
Your initial consultation with an orthopedic physician at Regen Orthopedics is covered by most insurance carriers. Though they are FDA approved, many insurance companies do not cover regenerative procedures because, at this time, they consider them to be investigational. To account for this, we offer competitive pricing for various regenerative treatments. Payment plans are available that make the procedures very affordable. For more information on payment plans to finance the procedure please visit: www.carecredit.com
Are there any adverse effects to the treatments?
The most common side effect is post treatment discomfort. For the first 72 hours some patients may experience low-grade fever, swelling at the site of the injection, body aches, and fatigue. Specific risks and benefits for each treatment of interest will be discussed at the time of the initial consultation.
What if we find that regenerative treatments
are not right for you?
Outside of regenerative treatments, our practice specializes in general orthopedics and sports medicine. If we find that you are not a good candidate for regenerative procedures, we can explore many other ways of managing your pain.