Regenerative medicine continues to keep its promise as the greatest “game changer” in orthopedic medicine. For both chronic and acute pain patients, the scope of minimally invasive orthopedic treatments available is widening. Charleston Sports and Orthopaedic Regenerative Medicine has kept pace with the regenerative medicine advancements over the past decade. While surgeries, such a total knee replacement, produce excellent outcomes and may be the best choice for some patients, the world of regenerative medicine is a game changer for athletes and active “boomers” seeking functional improvement without surgery. Techniques and technology advancements such as stem cell therapy, platelet rich plasma therapy, gene transfer and tissue engineering, are moving the field of orthopedics into a new era.
An orthopedic surgeon’s quality outcomes for invasive and minimally invasive treatments are highly contingent on the patient’s ability to heal. Injured tissues including muscle, tendon, ligament or cartilage are a catalyst for the body to try and heal the injury through its own repair mechanisms. Blood flow is a critical element to the body’s own healing power. Inside and around joints, the blood flow is typically lacking. Thus, the body may be unable to heal the injury adequately or even at all. The amount of degeneration or damage and the age of the patient may further challenge the body’s own efforts at healing the injury.
When the body is unable to recover, or heal, the result for the patient manifests itself as pain, weakness, joint locking, disability, and swelling. The solution to this problem is to augment the natural healing process to heal or even “grow back” the damaged tissue.
As surgeons continue to face challenges regarding the healing of diseased or injured musculoskeletal tissues, regenerative medicine aims to develop novel therapies that will replace, repair, or promote tissue regeneration. Our practice remains at the forefront of this growing application of regenerative medicine in orthopedics. All orthobiologic procedures are performed under local anesthesia in the office. Regenerative medicine services that incorporate orthobiologic options, include:
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Charleston Sports Medicine specializes in an orthobiologic treatment known as “platelet rich plasma” or PRP. Used to treat such injuries as tennis elbow, Achilles tendonitis, patellar tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis, PRP is blood plasma derived from patient’s own blood with concentrated platelets. These bioactive proteins initiate connective tissue healing: bone, tendon and ligament regeneration and repair, promote development of new blood vessels, and stimulate the wound healing process.
Amniotic Allografts (amniotic tissue) is a promising regenerative treatment option, due to its rich source of growth factors, hyaluronic acid, proteins, essential nutrients, and a low risk of immune response. Amniotic Allografts are a tissue graft derived from placenta and are great options for use in osteoarthritis and tendinopathy including plantar fasciitis.
Adipose Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells (ADMSC)
ADMSC is a minimally invasive procedure where stems cells are collected from fat cells found in the patient’s abdomen. This procedure treats progressive osteoarthritis and is an excellent non-surgical treatment option.
Bone Marrow Aspiration Concentrate Therapy (BMAC)
BMAC is a minimally invasive procedure where stems cells are collected by aspirating the bone marrow from the back of the patient’s pelvis using a small needle. Performed in an office setting with local anesthesia and with little or no discomfort, a concentration of stem cells, called bone marrow aspiration concentrate (BMAC), is then injected close to the injured or diseased tissue using diagnostic image guidance. This procedure, sometimes combined with ADMSC, is a more advanced form of regenerative therapy for patients with significant tissue damage.