Regenerative Medicine Solutions

The emerging field of regenerative medicine continues to evolve and offers patients a treatment option when other treatments are either not appropriate or have failed. Platelet rich plasma, amniotic membrane derivatives and emerging stem cell therapies have become one more tool to treat musculoskeletal and degenerative conditions.

If you are interested in or are already scheduled for PRP, please download this Patient Instruction Sheet.

Regenerative Medicine

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapies

Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP is a musculoskeletal therapy that has received attention from the media due to the many professional athletes that have used PRP to heal from injuries. PRP has been a treatment in veterinary medicine for a number of years. We know that platelet activation plays a key role in the process of wound and soft tissue healing. Sometimes the body fails to heal a tendon or joint injury, leading to chronic impairment of the injured tissue. PRP contains many healing properties that can repair damaged tissue. PRP is derived from a patient’s own blood sample and is composed of highly concentrated platelets and growth factors. It has been shown to stimulate healing by supplying growth factors, cytokines and other bioactive proteins. It can also act as a biological scaffold for stem cell treatments which can potentially enhance healing even further.

PRP is produced from a person’s own blood. It is a concentration of one type of cell, known as platelets, which circulate through the blood and are critical for blood clotting. Platelets and the liquid plasma portion of the blood contain many factors that are essential for the cell recruitment, multiplication and specialization that are required for healing. After a blood sample is obtained from a patient, the blood is put into a centrifuge that separates the blood into its many components. Platelet rich plasma can then be collected and treated before it is delivered to an injured area of bone or soft tissue, such as a tendon or ligament. The PRP is delivered to the target tissue through an injection with ultrasound guidance to assist in the precise placement of the PRP. After the injection, a patient must avoid exercise for a short period of time before beginning a rehabilitation exercise program.

Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP is a musculoskeletal therapy that has received attention from the media due to the many professional athletes that have used PRP to heal from injuries. PRP has been a treatment in veterinary medicine for a number of years. We know that platelet activation plays a key role in the process of wound and soft tissue healing. Sometimes the body fails to heal a tendon or joint injury, leading to chronic impairment of the injured tissue. PRP contains many healing properties that can repair damaged tissue. PRP is derived from a patient’s own blood sample and is composed of highly concentrated platelets and growth factors. It has been shown to stimulate healing by supplying growth factors, cytokines and other bioactive proteins. It can also act as a biological scaffold for stem cell treatments which can potentially enhance healing even further.

The side effects of PRP injections are very limited as the patient is utilizing their own blood, to which they should have no reaction. Some relative rest is needed immediately following the procedure, then usually followed by a progressive rehabilitation program.

Stem Cell And Amniotic Therapies

The words “stem cell” have been the source of much media coverage, scientific debate, and political discussion. Stem Cell (and even more recently amniotic membrane) therapies as they apply to regenerative medicine refers to the use of either products derived from (donated) human placentas or derived from a person’s own tissues (typically fat or bone marrow).

Do regenerative treatments have proven effectiveness?

Currently, the largest body of research has involved the use of PRP. More recently, amniotic membrane and other tissues have been used for the same purposes as PRP. Amniotic membranes that have been freeze dried are very rich in growth factors and theoretically can provide a greater amount of growth factors than PRP as well as eliminate the need for a blood draw and centrifuge, making the procedure easier to perform. There is very little research on the musculoskeletal applications of these therapies, therefore it is not known if growth factors alone are sufficient to enhance the healing process. The most common means through which stem cells are harvested from a person’s bone marrow through a large needle that is bored into the pelvis, similar to a bone marrow biopsy. This procedure is invasive and painful, and is associated with risks including infection. There has been no standardization of the amount of bone marrow that is sufficient to inject into injured tissues. Therefore, it is somewhat unclear if any procedure has “enough” stem cells to do the job. Finally, because there is a large degree of variability among individuals. Because amniotic tissue derived is not the person’s own, there is a small risk of that person reacting to the amniotic tissue. Very recently, a company has developed a method of extracting live stem cells from placentas for potential injection/implantation. At the present time we are exploring stem cell therapies but have not chosen to utilize them at West County Spine & Sports Medicine.

West County Spine & Sports offers Regenerative Therapies to appropriate patients that have had good results using this treatment. If you are interested in exploring regenerative medicine as a treatment option for your condition, please discuss it with Dr. Margherita at your office visit.

Please contact us today to request an appointment or learn more.

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Mah in St Louis, MO

I went to Dr. Margherita for knee pain a month before a planned camping trip. The office got me an appointment quickly. When I got there, everyone was friendly and professional. Dr. M is very thorough - he LISTENS and asks questions, then probes and manipulates to isolate the issue. I ended up with X-ray, MRI and ultrasound, as each imaging method gives you different info. My injured knee was completely fixed in time for lots of hiking. Couldn't be more pleased!

Mah in St Louis, MO
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The best and the best staff. So glad I was referred to Dr. Margherita after being in pain for such a long time. Thank you Dr. Margherita!

Patti in Chesterfield, MO

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