How Regenerative Medicine Can Help You Heal Quickly

Orthopaedics is entering an exciting new era. Regenerative medicine is revolutionizing orthopaedic practice. Scientists have found ways to engage your own body in helping it heal more quickly. 

In a nutshell, regenerative medicine helps stimulate your body to initiate a healing response itself. 

Dr. Michael Hood, board-certified orthopaedic surgeon with Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in West Memphis, Arkansas, and Colliersville, Tennessee, stays abreast of the latest research and uses regenerative medicine approaches to help heal musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. 

The difference in traditional orthopaedic therapies vs. regenerative medicine

Until now, physicians have managed painful musculoskeletal conditions with drugs, physical therapy, injections, and painful surgery involving weeks, if not months, of recovery time. 

Drugs can’t renew worn tissue; they simply mask the pain temporarily. Injections can help soothe inflammation, but they don’t heal your damaged tissue. Physical therapy can help increase range of motion in painful joints with diseased tissue, but it can’t heal the joint. 

On the other hand, regenerative medicine has the potential to effect long-lasting healing changes in your body’s tissues. The field is in its infancy now, with the goal of regenerating your worn out cells, damaged tissue, and even some bodily organs to reestablish healthy function.

Regenerative medicine aids healing from musculoskeletal conditions

The field of orthopaedics is rapidly embracing the use of regenerative medicine to help patients heal more quickly than they would otherwise without it. Smaller studies have yielded positive results.

Researchers have called for large clinical trials, which are now occurring. Current clinical trials involve use of patients’ own stem cells from fatty tissue and from bone marrow aspirate concentrate in healing knee osteoarthritis. 

In his regenerative medicine therapy, Dr. Hood takes stem cells from your own body, either from your fatty tissue or bone marrow, and injects the mixture at the painful site. Adult stem cells hold significant potential for healing because they can infinitely renew themselves. 

Bone marrow stem cells can morph into other kinds of stem cells. If you have a torn tendon, your body can change stem cells into cells that make up the tendon. Stem cell therapy rushes healing cells to the site of your injury so that your tendon can repair itself. 

Researchers are investigating how these cells can repair injuries to the spinal cord and bones. 

Platelet-rich plasma in widespread use

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a regenerative medicine approach to healing damaged tissue. Your blood is drawn and then remixed in a way that gathers your blood platelets together in heavy concentration. 

Your platelets have proteins called growth factors, which your body uses to repair the damaged tissue. The blood in a PRP sample has 5-10 times the number of platelets in a normal blood sample. The heavy platelet concentration rushes to your injury, helping you to heal more quickly and reducing chance of infection.  

PRP therapy is gaining traction as a standard orthopaedic practice in healing musculoskeletal injuries and conditions — specifically, muscle, tendon, and joint injuries as well as painful arthritic joints. Physicians are also using PRP for neck and back pain resulting from herniated discs in your spine.

If you do need surgery after a sports injury, for example, using PRP during the surgery may provide a boost in helping your tissue to heal.   

Sports icons such as Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal have had PRP for knee injuries and chronic tendonitis. Now you can benefit from the same type of treatment these elite players have received. 

Call Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine or book an appointment online today if you’re in pain after a sports injury or other musculoskeletal condition. 

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