Regenerative medicine is relatively new. It all started back in 1968 when the first bone marrow transplant took place, followed by the discovery of stem cells in human cord blood in 1978. But it wasn’t until as late as 2010 when large-scale success was reported when a patient with a spinal-cord injury received therapy using embryonic stem cells.
There are many types of regenerative medicine which is the process of regenerating human cells, organs and tissues to establish or restore normal function. Often the function isn’t there, such as in congenital defects. But more commonly, age, tissue damage or disease can affect the body resulting in the need for regenerative medicines.
What can regenerative medicine be used for?
Regenerative medicine can be used as a cure for many clinical health conditions, including injuries and chronic diseases, such as the ones listed below.
- Osteoarthritis is caused by harmful chemicals in the joints. These chemicals degrade cartilage by breaking down the cells and damaging joints. This causes the pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced movement characteristic in osteoarthritis.
- Rheumatoid arthritis, caused by inflammation of the joints, is a chronic progressive disease resulting in painful deformity and reduced mobility especially in the wrists, fingers, and ankles.
- Sports injuries such as ligament sprains and tears, including tendonitis, tennis elbow, and jumper’s knee.
- Back, shoulder, hip and neck pain.
- Heel, Achilles, knee and shin pain.
- Bursitis caused by the inflammation and swelling of fluid-filled sacs called bursa. Bursa act as a cushion between the tendons and bones but can cause pain when they are irritated and inflamed.
What are the different types of regenerative medicine?
- Lipogems® is a new minimally invasive therapy option that uses your own adipose tissue (tummy fat) and is injected into the treatment site. It works by providing cushioning and support to your body as it heals.
- Alpha-2-Macroglobulin is a plasma protein found in the blood and may stop breakdown of cartilage is patients with osteoarthritis. This treatment is a great alternative to surgery.
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy was developed in the 1970s and is used in orthopaedic surgery, sports medicine and plastic surgery. PRP relieves pain by promoting long-lasting healing of musculoskeletal conditions using the body’s natural reaction to an injury. This type of regenerative medicine is popular amongst well-known athletes.
- Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy is a new non-surgical procedure for soft tissue. Used in orthopaedics and sports medicine, it is recognised as a treatment for many musculoskeletal conditions.
- Stem cell therapy involves either using a patient’s own stem cells or stem cells from a donor and using these cells to repair or regenerate tissue. The most common form is bone marrow transplant. Stem cells are found in many areas of the body including bone marrow, brain, skeletal muscle and blood and have the potential to become the cells for many types of bodily tissues. Stem cell therapy is the most invasive out of the regenerative medicines listed above and can require ongoing treatment.
If you suffer with any of the conditions listed, or you are looking for an alternative to surgery, the Rogers Regenerative Medical Group can help you. To book a consultation with our specialists, please contact the team today.