Biologic Regeneration Injection Therapy
Dr. Warner here –
There is a growing body of evidence that supports the use of biological adjuncts for the treatment of orthopedic conditions. This is especially true for the treatment of cartilage damage, particularly for arthritis.
There is some research-based evidence that shows biologic injections can assist in the prevention of arthritis, can delay the onset of arthritis progression, and can help treat discrete lesions in the cartilage.
How Are Biologic Injections Used?
We use a host of biologic injections for the treatment of pain and motion problems associated with cartilage damage from arthritis. Our treatment protocols are based on each client individually after consultation.
The treatments include platelet-rich-plasma (leukocyte-rich or poor), bone marrow aspiration concentrate, alpha-2 macroglobulin, Wharton’s jelly-derived stem cells, and amniotic matrix. Sometimes we will use hyaluronic acids, exosomes, or basic injections as well. This all depends on efficacy, patient, and disease factors. Of course, we can also provide surgery if necessary.
A double-blind placebo-controlled study has compared PRP to hyaluronic acid for the treatment of knee arthritis. Hyaluronic acid is covered by most insurance companies while PRP is not. This study showed PRP to be superior in most outcomes (Cole). A different study also found PRP to be superior to hyaluronic acid (Cerza). Many animal studies have found PRP to be very effective as well.
Pluripotent Cells For the Treatment of Arthritis
Adult autologous stem cells are very effective for the treatment of arthritis. These are adult cells and are not embryonic. We consider the use of embryonic stem cells to be unethical. Adult mesenchymal stem cells are anabolic, anti-inflammatory, and have actual regenerative potential. Technically, these are often referred to as ‘pluripotent’ cells, simply meaning that they can convert into different tissue types. Wharton’s jelly pluripotent cells are even more powerful.
There is a growing body of literature proving the effectiveness and safety of stem cells for the treatment of a variety of orthopedic conditions. As most arthritis is not simply damaged cartilage but both damaged cartilage and bone, it is considered better to apply a pluripotent cell as a remedy rather than a single cell type. In other words, simply putting cartilage into the joint may not be effective for damaged bone under the cartilage. However, putting mesenchymal pluripotent cells in the joint could help both conditions.
The science is new in this field, at least for human clinical studies. There is a lot of basic science, laboratory, and animal research that has demonstrated the massive power of such biologic treatment.
Many physicians and surgeons do not use these treatments or do not believe in them. We do believe in this science and continue to remain updated, keeping our techniques and knowledge levels at the cutting edge so that our patients receive the absolute best treatments possible for the pain, stiffness, and functional issues associated with arthritis.
For more information on biologic regeneration injection therapy, contact us at Warner Orthopedics & Wellness today!
Meredith Warner, MD