The Future of Medicine
“Regenerative medicine” therapy is a hot topic in the medical field right now, and for good reason. You probably have heard this term and wondered if someone has finally discovered the fountain of youth. Many patients have used this exciting advancement in medical technology and research to return themselves to a pain free, active life, in effect ‘turning back the clock’.
What, though can regenerative medicine do for you?
In this blog, we will talk about what regenerative medicine means, how it works, and most importantly, how it can help resolve chronic injuries that you might be experiencing.
At Anderson Center for Regenerative Medicine, We’ve had amazing success over the past 9 years treating all conditions below the knee with regenerative products. We were one of the first Podiatrists to use Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and have now moved on to more modern, superior products, placental and umbilical cells, under the expertise and experienced direction of our Medical Director, Jake Johnson, MD.
What does “Regenerative Medicine” mean?
Some of the approximately 37 trillion cells in your body act as repairmen, coming to your aid in case of injury or stress. Age and repeated or severe injury reduces the number of these healing repair cells. Regenerative medicine dramatically increases the concentration and ability of your body’s repair cells to naturally heal your injured or degenerated area, without surgery and with little to no down time.
Traditional types of medical treatments include steroids, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, orthotic inserts, etc. Doctors use these to either decrease inflammation, or decrease further damage to the area. These methods can help assist the healing process, but still rely on the damaged tissue’s ability to heal, which is often compromised.
What are stem cells and how do they work?
One of the most common types of regenerative therapy is stem cell treatment. Stem cells are the generic building blocks of the body. These cells are able to change into any type of body tissue depending on the injury site. For example, if we inject these cells into tendon, they become tendon. If we inject them into bone, they become bone. Therefore, these cells can provide a much needed resource to chronically damaged areas.
Stem cells work by “kickstarting” the healing process. They provide the raw materials (structural proteins, growth factors, etc.) right where and when the body needs it most. For example, when the fascia scars and thickens, patients experience plantar fasciitis (heel pain). The fascia is basically a large ligament in the foot that attaches into the heel bone. When injected with stem cells, the fascia starts up an “all hands on deck” healing process. Over the course of a few weeks, the fascia is typically able to fully heal and replace the damaged area.
Where do stem cells come from?
There are different sources for Stem cell products. At Anderson Center for Regenerative Medicine, we use two that have been tested and approved for safety and high levels of effectiveness:
- Amniofix: One of the most common type or regenerative therapies currently in use comes from the inner lining of the placenta following an elective C-section child birth. Expectant mothers agree to donate this tissue, which would otherwise be discarded. Once the baby is born, the placenta is sent for safe processing. The end result is a sterile, dehydrated and powdered vial of stem cell. This will later be mixed with saline and injected into the damaged tissue.
We use this to treat patients experiencing all kinds of chronic injuries particularly in the lower extremities. Visit their website at www.mimedx.com for more information on its inherent safety and uses.
- Stemell: This product comes from umbilical cord cells. Although not around as long as placental cells, these are arguably a superior source for stem cells. The Stemell company has an excellent record for research and safety and is one of the top suppliers for superior stem cell products.
These cells are typically used in treating injuries and chronic pain in larger joints such as hips, shoulders and knees.
What kinds of injuries can regenerative medicine treat?
Our products are used to treat these and other conditions and can often replace the need for surgery:
- Achilles tendonitis, Heel Pain (plantar fasciitis),
- Arthritis in the toes, foot and ankle
- Other soft tissue injuries
- Hip bursitis
We administer the injections right here in the office, and there is little to no down time required.
We see many athletes and active adults who come to our office looking for a treatment option that will not slow down their training or activity level. These patients are very happy to hear that there is a non-surgical treatment available.
We also can combine this treatment with other non-surgical options, like orthotics and our MLS Laser treatment, depending on the needs of the patient. Patients are often able to return to their normal activity level in a matter of weeks instead of months or even years.
“I was told that my knees were bone on bone and that I was going to have to have knee replacement surgery. I was referred to you by my neighbor and I’m glad I found you. My knees used to bother me going up and down hills and biking. I am now three to four months out and I have very little if any pain!” Jim
To learn more about regenerative medicine, click here.
If you are experiencing chronic injuries or unresolved pain, please come see us!