Watchung, New Jersey (PRWEB) April 01, 2015
One of the fastest growing sectors of non-surgical orthopedic treatment is the exciting new subspecialty of Regenerative Medicine, which is more descriptively referred to as “ortho-biologics.” The deconstructed term relates to, “ortho” referring to orthopedic medicine and “biologics”, relating to a substance derived from human sources (usually stem cells or growth factors) to treat diseased or dysfunctional tissue.
Anyone who follows a professional sports team and their superstar players, has undoubtedly heard of the cutting-edge procedures of stem cell therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma therapy (PRP). These therapies are most often discussed for the treatment of rotator cuff and meniscus tears, golfer’s and tennis elbow, osteoarthritis of hip and knee, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendon injuries, to name but a few. Until recently, these treatments were only available to elite athletes. Fortunately, this technology is now available at Performance Rehabilitation & Integrated Medicine for both athletes and non-athletes that desire conservative, non-surgical solutions to pain reduction and to return to full function.
The following information is to provide the reader with some fundamental information regarding the science, application and indications for the use of stem cell and PRP treatments for common injuries seen in the non-surgical orthopedic practice.
The Basics of Adult Stem Cells (ASC’s).
Adult stem cell (ASC) therapy is an exciting new procedure within the sub-specialty of Regenerative Medicine that is offering non-surgical, orthopedic solutions to otherwise potentially surgical conditions. ASC’s are the wave of the future for treating chronic, unresponsive tendon conditions.
Stem Cell Therapy is quit simple, ASC’s are obtained directly from the patient in a simple, pain-free procedure done in the office and reintroduced back to the patient (analogous), during a same day during a one-hour procedure. ASC’s are different than the controversial embryonic stem cells. ASC’s procedures are FDA-cleared and safe for human application.
Adult Stem Cells are undifferentiated, special cells found in bone marrow (hip and lower leg) and adipose tissue (buttock and abdomen fat) which have been proven to repair and regenerate damaged tissue as well as regeneration of bone, ligament, tendon, cartilage and muscle when grafted to the injured site, under the aide of ultra sound guided imaging. It is important to make the distinction that ASC’s are obtained directly from the patient and reintroduced back to the patient (analogous). They are different than the controversial embryonic stem cells. ASC procedures are FDA-cleared and are safe for human use.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection—The Catalyst.
Stem cell injections are typically followed up with one or more Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) procedures. It is believed that PRP is the catalyst of the regenerative process by “turning on” growth factors and bio-active proteins that are essential for complete healing. A common metaphor I use with patients to help explain the process is the stem cells are the lawn seed and the PRP is the fertilizer. Both are essential for complete repair and healing of tissue.
Several days after the stem cell grafting, the doctor will follow up with a PRP injection. PRP is also obtained directly from the patient’s own blood. Simply put, platelets are rich in growth factor and bioactive proteins, which are an essential source of nutrients and healing. PRP will essentially “turn on” the stem cell process. Four to six weeks after the first PRP injection, the doctor may advise a second PRP treatment to continue the healing process.
Stem Cell Therapy is a repair process not a “quick fix.”
It is essential to understand that the procedures discussed above are reparative and restorative processes that take 1-3 months to complete. However, in most cases patients do report improvements within several weeks after the procedure.
We encourage our patients to undergo 4-8 weeks of physical therapy and rehabilitation after the stem cell procedure to regain full strength, function and return to an active lifestyle.
If you feel you are a candidate for a Regenerative Medicine procedure or have questions and you live in the tri-state area, we recommend you make an appointment to discuss it with one of our doctors. For more information visit us at http://www.performancerehabnj.com or speak to our Patient Relations Coordinator at 908-756-2424 x 109.
About the author
Joseph Mejia D.O., F.A.A.P.M.&R, Is a graduate of University of Michigan and West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He is Board Certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine. Dr. Mejia received his Fellowship Training in Interventional Pain Management from University of Medicine and Dentistry. He has advanced training in Regenerative Medicine and is the Medical Director and Partner of Performance Rehabilitation and Integrated Medicine.
About Performance Rehabilitation & Integrated Medicine
At Performance Rehabilitation & Integrated Medicine in Watchung NJ, we have a state-of-the-art facility that allows patients to consult with a Board Certified; Fellowship trained Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician who has extensive training in Interventional Pain Management and Regenerative Medicine. We also have Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, Acupuncturist and Massage Therapy specialists that work collaboratively to help patient regain their pre injury lifestyle.