Sports Medicine is rapidly changing. The old days of giving steroid injections for every ache and pain are numbered. Most treatments for sports injuries are not able to treat the root cause. In stead, treatment has been aimed at controlling the symptoms through medications or devices. In fact, many traditional treatments (think steroid injections) can damage tissues like cartilage and tendons.
Regenerative Medicine is a game-changer. It is has the potential to heal damaged tissues and organs. It has three elements: Rejuvenation, Replacement, and Regeneration.
Rejuvenation: Rejuvenation means enhancing the body’s natural ability to heal. Some tissues like skin heal very quickly after injury; but others like organs, tendons, and nerves heal poorly or slowly. Recent research has shown that these tissues possess stem cells and the ability to heal better than previously thought- rejuvenation is the branch of medicine aimed at optimizing the body’s ability to use these healing processes.
Replacement: Replacement is exchanging damages cells/tissues for healthy ones from either a living or deceased donor. Think of kidney transplants, or knee meniscus and Achilles tendon transplants. Also, technology exists that allows your own cartilage to be grown in a lab and transplanted back into a damaged knee.
Regeneration: Regeneration involves delivering specific types of cells or cell products to diseased tissues or organs, where they will ultimately restore tissue and organ function, as defined by the Mayo Clinic. Examples are inserting stem cells or growth factors into a damaged tissue. We commonly use Platelet Rich Plasma injections for tendon and joint injuries for this very reason.
Regenerative medicine may provide the definitive treatment for many of the degenerative problems faced by Sports Medicine like back or knee pain. Valley Sports & Spine Clinic focuses on the emerging evidence in this field to provide cutting-edge treatments and protocols for our patients.
We can help you!
Ethan Colliver, DO
Valley Sports & Spine Clinic Giving you Back your Life