The Use of Regenerative Medicine in Practice
Injuries to the joints or tendons may be acute or chronic. Acute injuries would include sprains which may be the result of a trauma. These injuries can lead to simple synovitis (inflammation of the synovial membrane within the joint). But it may also result in cartilage damage or subchondral bone trauma. Chronic injuries are due to the repetitive nature of sport activity on the joints. These can be due to joint instability as a result of poor control and secondary loss of soft tissue support. Chronic issues invariably involve cartilage wear leading to cartilage degeneration and cellular byproduct release. This leads to osteoarthritis and chronic synovitis. Joint injuries may also be developmental as a result of bone fragments or cysts.
Chronic issues are due to repetitive stress with progressive weakening leading to damage. Chronicity is due to inadequate repair mechanisms, followed by thickening and fibrosis (scar tissue).
Acute tendinitis may be due to direct trauma or progressive overload. Over time this can lead to micro trauma or even tearing of tissue. Tendon tears may also involve the muscle to a tendon. Chronic tendinitis (tendonitis) can also be due to recurrent injury.
Regenerative therapies can involve many methods, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy being among the most popular. Generally speaking, regenerative therapies are centred on the use of biologically natural sources. These biological treatments are autologous (obtained from your own cells), and used to enhance already present healing mechanisms to stimulate repair and recovery. Most of these therapies use bioactive growth factors, which regulate cellular metabolism. Regenerative therapies also provide cellular matrix or scaffolding while providing potent stem cells that differentiate into needed cells.
What are Growth Factors?
Growth factors are protein signalling molecules that regulate cellular metabolism. In the therapeutic setting we use it as a powerful regenerative tool. Growth factors facilitate tissue healing by stimulating cell proliferation, increasing extra-cellular matrix synthesis, and stimulating new vascular tissue (blood vessels). Furthermore and in addition to regenerative properties, growth factors are also thought to reduce catabolic cytokines (Inflammatory cells). Current evidence suggests that these growth factors are stimulatory for tendon repair and cartilage repair.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is obtained from the persons own blood, using a high concentration of platelets - delivering a high growth factor concentration. The desired concentration of platelets is 4-5 times circulatory levels.
PRP treatment works very differently to commonly used cortisone injections. Cortisone injectiois an anti-inflammatory injection, but when successful, is only short lived. Also, it has tissue damaging affects long-term. On the opposite side, PRP injections are pro inflammatory, used to stimulate healing and repair.
In conclusion, there are a number of regenerative therapy options available, PRP treatment is most commonly used as along with its success, it is relatively inexpensive, very simple to perform and non-invasive. It is also important to note that these treatments do require standard rehabilitation protocols.
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Don’t let the pain and injury affect you or get in the way of your active lifestyle. Schedule a consultation with Dynamic Regenerative Medicine today. We have clinics operating out of Solihull (Henley-In-Arden), Birmingham (Harborne/Edgbaston) & Bromsgrove (Barnt Green).
Call us today 01564 330773