One of the most exciting fields of contemporary medical science is regenerative medicine, enabling your body to heal itself more effectively. It’s not a new concept. Bone marrow transplants are a regenerative technique that’s been used since the 1950s. Dr. Ashley M. Classen and the team at Trinity Pain Medicine Associates in Fort Worth, Texas use several regenerative medicine procedures to help speed recovery after injury or surgery. Contact the office by phone or online to learn more about these revolutionary techniques.
Regenerative medicine seeks to create living, functional tissue to replace that which is lost due to age, disease, congenital defect, or injury. The field includes transplantation and alternatives since the supply of organs is much smaller than the demand. It also includes techniques to accelerate the human body’s own capacity to regenerate itself by supplying more of the raw materials than your body can create naturally, healing faster and beyond the body’s unaided capabilities.
As well as transplants, techniques such as tissue engineering, stem cell injection, and bio-engineering extend the capabilities of regenerative medicine. There’s no need for you to have a life-threatening condition to gain benefits from regenerative medical procedures, however, since many techniques are adaptable to circumstances such as post-surgery recovery and injury repair.
Trinity Pain Medicine Associates most often uses regenerative techniques such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP), alpha-2-macroglobulin (A2M), and amniotic stem cell therapies.
While your blood is mostly made of liquid, called plasma, it also has solids suspended in it, most notably platelets. You may know these as the component that helps blood clots to form when you’re cut, but platelets also carry proteins called growth factors that help with the healing process.
PRP therapy takes a sample of your blood and then concentrates platelets using a centrifuge, a common procedure for concentrating blood. When plasma is enriched this way, you may have a platelet concentration up to 10 times higher than your normal blood.
The theory behind PRP therapy is that these concentrated growth factors provide your body with additional resources for healing and recovery through injection, more than would be available through regular blood flow.
A2M is another substance in your blood that can be harvested in a similar way to PRP. A2M inhibits the action of a chemical in your body that can attack the collagen in cartilage tissue. A2M shows promise at slowing or preventing some of the natural wear and tear that accompanies arthritis in joints.
Stem cells exist throughout your body, waiting for orders created by hormones to convert to a specific type of cell for regenerative purposes. It’s a normal part of the healing process. Injecting stem cells harvested from external sources may provide more raw materials for healing and regeneration. Growth factors help the process of converting stem cells, so PRP and stem cells are often used in combination.