More and more patients are hearing the words “regenerative medicine,” but don’t know what it means in terms of their care. And billboards and advertisements are popping up for stem cell therapy, but there are still misconceptions about it and how it works.
As a primary care sports medicine physician who uses this innovative therapy for musculoskeletal issues, such as torn ligaments, tendons, strains and arthritis, I’m pleased to answer some common questions about regenerative medicine.
How do intense workouts or repetitive exercise sometimes lead to injury?
Overuse injuries are very common in orthopedics. If a repetitive activity is performed for a prolonged period of time, it can result in mechanical fatigue of tendons, ligaments, neural and soft tissue.
This can result in characteristic changes of the integrity of the tissue depending on their individual properties. The fatigue is thought to initially lead to adaptations of these tissues.
As the tissues attempt to adapt to the demands placed on them, they can sustain injury unless they have appropriate time to heal.
The rate of injury simply exceeds the rate of adaptation and healing in the tissue.
What is regenerative medicine?
Regenerative medicine in orthopedics is a field that focuses on nonsurgical treatments that enable your own adult stem cells to repair injured tissues, reduce inflammation and help reduce pain.
During the procedure, we extract stem cells and blood platelets, concentrate the cells and then inject them into an injured area of the body.
The procedure helps stimulate healing and speed repair for bone, muscle, joint, soft tissue and nerve injuries.
What types of orthopedic patients are recommended for this type of therapy?
These treatments are especially useful for patients who have acute injuries, as well as patients with chronic injuries who have not responded to…