Regenerative Medicine for Arthritis
If you suffer from osteoarthritis in your knee, shoulder, hip, or other joints in your body regenerative medicine may help. It uses parts of your own blood to help your body heal itself. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) can help your joints feel better and work better. The process begins with a sample of your blood. It is spun around in a centrifuge. This separates it into platelets, plasma, and red and white blood cells. The platelets are then concentrated and mixed with some of the plasma. This mixture is called Platelet Rich Plasma.
The doctor or nurse practitioner injects this into your damaged tissues. Your immune system (the system that keeps your body healthy) reacts quickly. Special white blood cells called “macrophages” rush in. They take away damaged cells. They help prep the site for healing. Then, stem cells and other cells begin to multiply. Over time, they repair and rebuild damaged tissues. After the injection, you can go home. You may need to come back for more injections as you heal.
Patients that respond well to PRP therapy also may have success with Stem Cell Therapy (SCT). The process is basically the same as PRP. However, SCT utilizes highly viable stem cells that are obtained through either am umbilical derived source (healthy born baby umbilical cord blood) or other non-self graft.
Understanding Arthritis and Joint Pain
When our joints are healthy, we tackle the daily tasks of life with ease. For the 50 million Americans with arthritis, simple activities like opening jars, playing sports, and even taking an evening stroll can become discouraging as affected joints become painful to use.
Arthritis is a disease characterized by the breakdown of the joint cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones. As the cartilage deteriorates, bone begins to rub against bone, making movement painful. This disease can also damage ligaments and muscles.
Regenerative Medicine as an Alternative to Knee or Hip Replacements
Many people with arthritis fear that a joint replacement or surgery is their only option. Regenerative medicine, such as Platelet Rich Plasma injections and Stem Cell Therapy for arthritis, has shown great promise for arthritis treatment as an alternative to surgery. Historically, injections only lubricated the joint, but now these innovative procedures can dynamically change the environment within an arthritic joint or tissue injury, helping the body to heal the cartilage itself and reduce inflammation on a long-term basis.