Introduction to Regenerative Medicine
Regenerative Medicine is an exciting new field with far-reaching potential. Nearly every medical specialty today is exploring how Regenerative Medicine is used to enhance patient care. Orthopedics & Musculoskeletal medicine are currently undergoing revolutionary advancements, as physicians and researchers learn how to apply regenerative techniques to optimize and accelerate healing.
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS REGENERATIVE MEDICINE?
Regenerative Medicine is the application of recent discoveries involving the body’s own repair mechanisms to promote healing. Your body is designed to heal itself. Every time you twist your ankle or bang your knee, you witness the body’s remarkable ability to heal itself. The swelling and inflammation that follows injury is blood rushing into the injured site and delivering platelets and repair cells. Using these platelets (Platelet Rich Plasma; PRP) and repair cells (Mesenchymal Stem Cells; MSCs), Regenerative Medicine specialists are able to deliver your body’s healing powers directly to sites of injury or degeneration.
SO WHAT IS PRP (PLATELET RICH PLASMA) AND WHAT ARE PLATELETS?
Platelets are the little band-aids that swim around in your blood and wait for an injury to occur. In addition to stopping bleeding after you suffer a cut or scrap, they also deliver signaling molecules to injured sites. These signaling molecules make contact with receptors on the cell walls of injured tissue. This then sends a message into the cell turning on DNA, beginning the synthesis of new tissue to replace damaged tissue. Gathering and concentrating these platelets generates PRP. By concentrating the number of platelets your doctor is able to deliver an amplified healing response to the area of your body that needs help.
SO WHAT ARE MSCS (MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS) AND WHAT ARE REPAIR CELLS?
Stem cells are a unique type of repair cell that have the capacity to grow into new tissue. Think of your bone as a cell factory. Within this factory is bone marrow from which two types of stem cells are produced, as well as a vast number of other types of repair cells. Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) which can actually grow into new tissue and direct tissue repair, and Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs), which mature into the oxygen carrying cells of your body, Red Blood Cells (RBCs). HSCs have also been found to be capable of helping heal injuries.
MSCs can further be thought of as the master cell of the repair mechanism of your body. Not only can MSCs actually transform into damaged cells they come into contact with thereby replacing them, but they also direct other repair cells much like the foreman at a construction site. With a plethora of other repair cells produced in the marrow that aid in healing, the MSCs could also be thought of as the queen bee, directing the process of tissue repair by the millions of other repair cells, or worker bees.
When your body undergoes an injury, repair cells from your blood rush to the damaged site and begin to tell the damaged cells to undergo healing. Platelets also arrive delivering much needed signaling molecules. With the aid of MSCs, both directly transforming into new cells, and directing the millions of other repair cells present, your body is able to lay down new tissue and keep you going strong.
With chronic degenerative diseases like arthritis, Regenerative Medicine specialists are able to use your body’s repair mechanism not only to heal acute injuries, but also to regenerate areas that have begun to break down.
This is what Regenerative Medicine is all about. By harnessing the healing powers of your own body, concentrating them from both your blood (PRP) and bone marrow (MSCs), we are able to amplify your body’s healing mechanism. Through precise visualization with both XR and Ultrasound guidance we are then able to direct with pinpoint accuracy this very powerful medicine to exactly where it is needed.