Enhancing Your Body’s Healing With Regenerative Medicine

When you read about regenerative medicine, you may feel like you’re reading some kind of science fiction. This cutting edge branch of medicine explores how to harness your body’s own healing properties in order to apply them to specific injuries, conditions, or wounds.

When you get a paper cut, your body clots the blood, forms a scab, and eventually your skin knits back together and you can’t even tell there was ever a wound there. When you think about all the small injuries your body handles in this way, it’s pretty amazing.

Regenerative medicine explores how the same processes that heal a cut on your finger might be able to make arthritic joints function more smoothly or ruptured tendons heal more quickly, among many other applications. At Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine, several clinicians specialize in regenerative medicine. 

Platelet-rich plasma

One example of regenerative medicine is the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. Platelets are specialized blood cells that have healing properties. They help with clotting, for example, and they contain specific proteins called growth factors that stimulate healing.

Plasma is the liquid part of your blood. When you have PRP injections, your own blood is drawn and goes through a process to separate it. Then, the platelets are concentrated in the plasma, which is injected preciscely in the area where you need it.

PRP injections are often used to treat injuries such as rotator cuff tears, torn or ruptured tendons or ligaments, and other musculoskeletal injuries.

One of the most important benefits of PRP injections is that there’s very little risk you’ll have an adverse reaction. Because PRP is derived from your own blood, you aren’t likely to be allergic to it or to have some other problem.

It may take a few weeks for you to gain the full benefit of PRP injections, but you’ll likely see incremental improvements. Depending on your condition or problem, we may suggest multiple injections over time. 

Stem cell therapy

Stem cell therapy is an exciting area of study being investigated for use in treating arthritis, chronic injuries, such as tennis elbow or carpal tunnel syndrome, and a host of other, often difficult-to-treat conditions.

Stem cells are cells that can transform into other types of cells as needed. Stem cells exist in various parts of your body, such as your bone marrow and adipose, or fat, tissue. Scientists are still discovering places where there are stem cells.

In addition to being able to become the type of cell your body needs, stem cells can also replicate. These two unusual properties make stem cells particularly important in the healing process. 

In regenerative medicine, stem cells are injected into the problematic area. For example, if you’re having stem cell therapy to treat osteoarthritis, your doctor may inject the stem cells directly into the damaged tissue of your knee joint.

Once the stem cells come into contact with the damaged tissues of your knee, they will transform into that tissue, and grow as new, healthy tissue. 

Regenerative medicine is exciting, and new developments occur regularly thanks to intense study. The providers at Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine have many patients who have benefited from regenerative medicine techniques.

If you’d like to learn more about this new branch of medicine and find out if it may be an option for you, book an appointment at Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine. We have seven locations for your convenience, and you can request an appointment online, or call the one nearest you to schedule. 

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