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What is Regenerative Medicine?

Published on July 29th, 2021

Orthopedic Knee Doctor

Regenerative medicine is a medical field that takes advantage of the body’s natural processes and cells to promote healing and regeneration of tissues and structures. It involves using a patient’s own regenerative factors to stimulate the body’s innate healing abilities. By applying these regenerative components to a specific area that would not typically heal on its own, a healing response is created. In many instances, regenerative medicine may be suitable as an alternative to surgery. 

Some examples of regenerative medicine are stem cell therapy, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, and cartilage regeneration techniques. As an orthopedic knee doctor from a practice like the Premier Osteoarthritis Centers of Pennsylvania can explain, these techniques can be used to treat a variety of ailments in the joints, including tendons, ligaments, and cartilage the hips, knees, shoulders, and elbows.

Why Regenerative Stem Cell Medicine?

Scientists and physicians have made extraordinary advances in regenerative medicine and have successfully moved it into the mainstream as a treatment for many conditions, diseases, and disorders. Regenerative medicine uses the healthy adult stem cells found throughout the body to promote regeneration. Research has demonstrated that it is possible to use adult stem cells to restore damaged, aging, or lost cells. Regenerative therapies are showing promise in more areas, including:

  • Orthopedic medicine
  • Nerve restoration
  • Wound care
  • Cardiovascular issues 
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Autoimmune conditions.

Regenerative medicine is minimally invasive. It is frequently used as an alternative for surgery in an appropriate candidate. Patients are often able to return to their normal daily activities and level of comfort, when they otherwise would have required surgical intervention and an extended rehabilitation and recovery period. Recovery from regenerative medicine procedures is usually less strenuous and better tolerated than many other treatments.

What are Adult Stem Cells?

Researchers discovered adult stem cells over 40 years ago. They found that cells derived from bone marrow could differentiate into various tissues. These adult stem cells are early-stage cells which under the right conditions, can develop into many types of cells and have the potential to regenerate damaged, injured, or diseased tissues.

Who is a Candidate for a Stem Cell Procedure?

Your stem cell doctor will review the history of your injury, conduct a physical examination, and look at diagnostic imaging, such as an x-ray or MRI. While stem cell therapy may be right for certain conditions, unfortunately, it is not appropriate for every situation. However, it is a proven and viable option for specific painful and mobility-restricting conditions. A good candidate typically is:

  • Someone who wants to avoid the risks, hassle, and complications that come with an invasive surgical procedure
  • A person suffering from pain who is interested in a drug-free, minimally invasive option that offers the potential for an improved quality of life
  • Someone who understands that surgery can potentially lead to infection and can initiate a cascade of further degeneration 

However, every patient and situation comes with its own unique challenges. The success of stem cell therapy is often dependent on the severity of the condition and how well an individual responds to stem cell therapy.

For more information or to find out if you are an appropriate candidate for stem cell regeneration, contact a qualified stem cell specialist or orthopedic knee doctor in your local area.

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