A multitude of orthopedic patients deal with chronic or acute pain in their joints, ligaments, and muscles. Whether due to injury or a degenerative condition, orthopedic pain significantly lowers the quality of life that afflicted individuals can enjoy. Regenerative medicine is a promising field that widens the scope of minimally invasive orthopedic treatments for many patients. While surgery often produces excellent outcomes, it is not the ideal choice for every patient. Regenerative medicine offers a window of opportunity to help the body heal on its own. Dr. Vangsness is at the forefront of regenerative medicine research and development and uses regenerative medicine to help his patients experience healing and relief from common orthopedic problems. To date, scientific efforts have yet to provide evidence of cell therapy success.
Candidates for Regenerative Medicine
Ideal candidates for regenerative medicine may include any patient who would like the option of attempting to help the body heal naturally through various treatment options. Candidates for regenerative medicine usually have injuries or conditions that have either healed poorly or have not healed at all. Athletes are excellent candidates for regenerative medicine because their chosen career depends on their physical well-being, and taking many months off for surgery, recovery, and physical therapy is less than ideal. Additionally, patients with chronic, daily pain who have tried other remedies without success are likely to be good
Candidates for Regenerative Medicine Treatments.
- Arthritis of the hip, shoulder, knee, and ankle
- Meniscal tears and labral tears
- Tendon tears and tendinopathies
- Articular cartilage injuries
- Defects and degenerative conditions
- Ligament and muscle injuries, strains, and tears
Techniques Used in Regenerative Medicine
Various techniques used in regenerative medicine have advanced the progression of orthopedic treatments. Generally, these treatments include cells from blood, bone marrow, fat, or placenta tissues. One technique that is often used is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, which contains essential growth factors that promote a natural healing response in the damaged tissue. By isolating the platelets within the plasma, this technique focuses the regenerative powers of the growth factors and cytokines and directs them specifically to the target area to improve healing. Another technique is stem cell therapy, which transfers stem cells from a healthy area of the body (bone marrow or fat) to the injury site or degenerative joint to promote anti-inflammation and any possible cartilage healing. Other techniques in regenerative medicine include gene transfer, tissue engineering, amniotic allografts, placenta allografts, and a variety of other approaches. Dr. Vangsness will recommend the best technique for your needs. These new cellular treatments continue to expand and undergo investigation.
The Benefits of Regenerative Medicine
Regenerative medicine provides patients and doctors with more options for orthopedic treatment. Since the quality of any orthopedic treatment depends on a patient’s ability to heal, assisting the joints in healing can facilitate better outcomes in all cases. If blood flow to a joint is limited or if the body is unable to heal adequately (or at all), the patient will experience ongoing pain, swelling, weakness, disability, or locking of the joint. Regenerative medicine augments the healing process and can even assist in growing back the damaged tissue so that patients can recover fully.