Regenerative Medicine Services in Gainesville, FL
Regenerative Cell Therapy
Regenerative cell injections enhance the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Unlike treatments that simply address the symptoms, regenerative cell therapy actually promotes repair of the body, restoring degenerated tissue.
At Physical Medicine Associates of Gainesville, non-surgical medical procedures are the mainstay of our practice. Using the most up-to-date techniques, our providers and staff treat each patient as a whole person, providing a comprehensive diagnostic assessment in order to design a customized strategy for relief from painful conditions. Until recently, for example, treatment options for people with osteoarthritis of the knee were limited. Steroid injections, joint replacement surgery, and physical therapy were often the only treatment options.
However, revolutionary new treatments are now available. Now, in our office, regenerative cell injections for knee osteoarthritis are available. Regenerative cell therapy also has applications for treating Achilles tendonitis, rotator cuff injuries, degenerative arthritis, and many other conditions.
Regenerative cell injections enhance the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Unlike treatments that simply address the symptoms, regenerative cell therapy actually promotes repair of the body, restoring degenerated tissue. These therapies fit well with Physical Medicine Associates of Gainesville’s integrated approach to wellness, addressing the source of issues, rather than just treating the symptoms.
Regenerative cell therapy is one of the available treatment options to help regenerate joint tissue and strengthen supporting structures to alleviate chronic pain. We follow a “whole person” view and look not only at an injured or arthritic joint, but also where the problem originates. We believe that a comprehensive approach to joint problems yields the best results, so this therapy is generally incorporated into an overall program to help you heal.
Why Is a Regenerative Cell Injection Performed?
As the body ages, the joints can wear down or degenerate, leading to osteoarthritis. This process, or any injury, can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling. Regenerative cells have the potential to aid in the treatment of a variety of orthopedic conditions and help decrease pain, stiffness, and swelling. These cells are injected into the injured or degenerative area to stimulate tissue healing or regeneration. The most commonly proposed uses include arthritis, chronic tendonitis, and ligament sprains.
There are now numerous studies showing that regenerative cell therapy shows significant results in the repair of rotator cuff, meniscus, cartilage, and osteoarthritis problems. They note significant reduction in pain, significant improvement in function, and MRI documented cartilage growth.
Who Is a Candidate for Regenerative Cell Injections?
Candidates for regenerative cell therapy are patients who have experienced ongoing pain with no relief from conservative treatment. Regenerative cell injections are almost always intended to be accompanied by other forms of therapy, including exercise and physical therapy.
What Source of Regenerative Cells Do You Use?
Regenerative cell therapy is an FDA-approved revolutionary breakthrough treatment option for people suffering from inflammation, reduced mobility, sports injuries, tissue and ligament damage, or chronic pain. We use a cryopreserved allograft regenerative tissue matrix solution derived from placental tissue. This cutting edge treatment is the most advanced of the current non-surgical treatment options. This regenerative tissue matrix is collected from donated placental tissue after C-section deliveries. Each vial undergoes careful testing for quality assurance before shipping. There are no ethical issues involved with this type of tissue donation.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
Our healthcare providers are specially trained to diagnose and treat the source of your chronic pain. This treatment option is all-natural, so you can benefit from your treatment without the risks and recovery time associated with more invasive procedures, such as surgery.
The human body has an inherent ability to heal its own tissue, but in certain areas that capacity is simply not that great. New cells are created consistently in the body, in order to replace old or damaged tissue. With age, this capability decreases. Even in younger individuals, the capability is slight (e.g. knee cartilage when damaged). Certain conditions such as degenerative arthritis can cause severe joint pain, and conventional medicine can only offer treatments that may mask the pain temporarily, but not alter the condition itself. With the help of regenerative medicine and options such as Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy and Regenerative Cell Therapy, there are now treatments available to help repair damaged tissue.
What Are Platelets and What Is Their Role in Repairing Arthritic and Damaged Tissue?
Plasma makes up the liquid part of human blood and contains red cells, white cells, and platelets. Platelets play a vital role in blood clotting after an injury and in the tissue repair process. Once activated, platelets release proteins responsible for healing, called growth factors. When platelet rich plasma is administered to a patient, these growth factors speed up and enhance the body’s normal healing capabilities.
How Is PRP Administered?
The initial step of the procedure consists of acquiring blood from the patient, similar to a simple blood draw. Afterwards, the medical provider uses a centrifuge to separate the PRP from the blood. The centrifuge process separates the blood into three components. The middle layer contains the heavily concentrated platelets and growth factors, and this is the part used for the procedure.
The second step of the procedure consists of injecting the concentrated solution, rich in platelets, to the area experiencing pain. Topical cold spray and/or numbing medicine is used to relieve discomfort during the injection procedure.
The provider will simply inject the Platelet-Rich Plasma into the painful area, possibly using ultrasound guidance if necessary. Once the affected ligament, tendon, or joint is injected with PRP, the healing process begins.
How Does PRP Work?
Once the PRP is injected in the painful area, it starts a powerful regenerative process. The platelets start releasing growth factors, and these will increase blood flow to the area and generate a healing process. The platelets and growth factors send out signals which recruit the body’s cells to promote healing. The damaged tissue is replaced by new cells, and the cartilage has the potential to be returned to normal.
What Types of Medical Conditions Are Treated with Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?
Conditions that involve joint pains and ligament/tendon injuries are often excellent candidates for PRP therapy.
Here is a partial list of the conditions PRP helps considerably:
- Golfer’s Elbow
- Tennis Elbow
- Shoulder tendonitis and Rotator Cuff injury
- Joint arthritis – hip, knee, ankle, SI joint, elbow, and wrist
- Soft tissue injury – tendonitis, meniscus tears in the knee, and ligament sprains
- Sacroiliac Joint pain
- Ankle sprains
- Achilles tendonitis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Muscle tears
Because of their immense effects in treating conditions related to tendon, joint, or ligament damage and pain, platelets are frequently used in treating athletes. Quite a few have already used this therapy to speed up the healing processes in their bodies, so they could get back to playing at a very high level. Athletes such as Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Dwight Howard, and Hines Ward, to name a few, have benefited from PRP therapy.
What to Expect from Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
One to three injections may be necessary in order to get the best result from this therapy. Typically, a break of two or more weeks is recommended between injections.
Initially, especially for the first two days, some swelling may be seen, as the platelets begin working by releasing growth factors. Some pain relief medication and ice packs applied locally will help with this type of discomfort. In a few days, the pain usually starts to reduce as new cells are created, and the body begins healing on its own.
Physical rehabilitation helps contribute to the speed of recovery and pain reduction after the injections of PRP. More noticeable beneficial effects are experienced after a few weeks. The patient will typically start feeling better and better, as joints increase range of motion, and pain continues to decrease. However, it may take up to several months for the platelets to fully complete the healing process.
A study conducted at the Hospital for Special Surgery published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine looked at PRP injections for arthritis in 22 patients averaging 55 years of age. The outcomes of the study were fantastic. Participants, by and large, had excellent pain relief that lasted the entire year of follow up. Also, the functional outcomes improved significantly in most of the patients. MRIs showed that in 75% of patients, no further cartilage degradation could be seen. Typically with arthritis, 4 to 6% of a person’s cartilage degenerates each year. In this study, the Platelet-Rich Plasma injection appeared to halt knee degeneration in 75% of the patients.
How Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy Different from Conventional Methods?
Extreme pains caused by osteoarthritis or tendon injuries are usually treated with cortisone injections. However, this method does nothing to treat the cause of the pain and it only masks it, making the patient feel it to a lesser extent. On the other hand, Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy contributes to healing in the affected area along with reducing the pain. If you would like to be considered for PRP treatment at our office, contact us today at (352) 378-7664.