Regenerative Medicine: Frequently Asked Questions

Image Credits: BioInnovations 

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patients in care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas Edison

Article Authors: Gordon Slater| Tandose Sambo 

With a more careful understanding of medical science, the underlying biological mechanisms of our bodies can be understood. Regenerative medicine is a medical practice that utilises natural treatments generated within our own bodies, to improve orthopaedic conditions. Also known as orthobiologics, the collective term applies to bodily tissues that are utilised in treatment. Under ideal conditions, the tissues will be sourced from the patient’s own body. 

How is regenerative medicine applied in Orthopaedic Care? 

Orthopaedic conditions can develop on various parts of the musculoskeletal system. The foot and ankle region contains tendons, muscles, cartilage, ligaments and other supporting structures. When any of these are damaged, the healing ability of the body takes place very slowly. The influencers to biological healing are impacted by the body’s changing dynamics. With age, healing cells such as stem cells tend to diminish in supply. Additionally, the blood supply to the area is low, compared to other parts of the body. Regenerative medicine aims to counter these deficiencies in order to accelerate the healing process. 

Regenerative medicine has been used to treat a variety of orthopaedic conditions, including muscle strains, joint pain, and fractured bones. Regenerative medicine has proven to be an excellent complement to orthopaedic surgery. 

How does regenerative medicine heal the body? 

Regenerative medicine often involves the collection of tissue from a source in the body that has that component in abundance. Stem cells are one such tissue, and they are often collected from fatty sites such as the thighs or arms. A patient may be the source of their own tissue, or the tissue may be sourced from an alternate donor. Once the body tissue is collected, it is converted into an injectable solution that is administered to the healing site. The healing concentrate provides a combination of nourishment and healing to the body. 

How is the injected concentrate prepared? 

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a tissue graft administered to the body via a transfusion methodology called ultrasound-guided injection technology. The tissue graft is highly concentrated, and contains up to six times the concentration of platelets and growth factors compared to the natural blood stream. With an enhancement of these critical healing components, tissue repair and regeneration are facilitated. 

The treatment process with this technology involves 2-3 injections every 6-8 weeks. The extent of treatment is individual to persons. Many people do experience improvements after two treatments with PRP. With all treatments, the enhancement of the treatment can be achieved via the utilisation of optimal nutrition and appropriate physical exercise.

What are the various types of Regenerative Therapies? 

There are various types of regenerative therapies including: 

Regenerative Injection Therapy (RIT):  Healing is administered via the injection of an irritant such as dextrose, a numbing agent, and the healing agents which then take the time to heal the wounded site.

Platelet Rich Plasma: Utilises components of your own blood, and concentrates the platelets for infusion into the healing site. 

Bone Marrow Aspirate Stem Cell Concentrate (BMAC):  Utilises tissue collected from the internal hip bone. This procedure requires the utilisation of anaesthetic, in order to minimise the pain felt by the patient during transfusion. 

What are the results of Regenerative Medicine? 

The results of regenerative medicine are directly correlated to the patient. Each treatment case is unique. Many people do however, experience improvements after two treatments with PRP. With all treatments, the enhancement of the treatment can be achieved via the utilisation of optimal nutrition and appropriate physical exercise. 

The medical research is still being conducted that proves that tissues can be fully regrown via regenerative medicine injectives. The regenerative process has proven that it can alleviate many symptoms in the body induced by orthopaedic conditions. These include inflammation and pain. 

Is Regenerative Medicine covered by my insurance? 

Financial options for the treatment of your orthopaedic condition are best discussed with your doctor. In some instances, you may be able to have your treatments covered under a medical insurance package. 

Reference: 

[1] HSS Orthopaedic Hospital: Regenerative Medicine 

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Dr. Gordon Slater

Dr. Slater is one of the first foot and ankle surgeons in Australia to adopt minimally invasive surgical techniques. He routinely uses MIS to treat a range of conditions, including bunions.

Leave a comment

Dr Gordon Slater is a highly-skilled surgeon specialising in foot and ankle conditions and sports injuries. Dr Slater is one of the first foot and ankle surgeons in Australia to adopt minimally invasive surgical techniques. He routinely uses MIS to treat a range of conditions, including bunions. MIS  has many advantages including shorter operating times, reduced post-operative pain, reduced risk of infection, minimal scarring and better cosmetic outcomes.

Copyright © 2022 orthopaedic-surgeon.com.au