Regenerative medicine sounds like something that might happen in the future, but it’s a reality today. The components responsible for regenerating new tissues inside your body can be extracted and injected back into damaged joints and tissues, where they promote healing, relieve pain, and restore function. Dr. David Hirsch at the South Texas Spinal Clinic is leading the way in regenerative medicine, using adult stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma to resolve musculoskeletal problems. If you’re interested in regenerative medicine, call their office in the South Texas area or book a consultation online.
What is Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine promotes healing of injuries and disease by using your body’s natural ability to create new tissues and heal itself.
In Dr. Hirsch's case, he extracts your adult stem cells and platelets, then injects them into damaged or diseased areas to perform their usual job: Reducing inflammation while stimulating new tissue growth and healing.
How are Stem Cells Used in Regenerative Medicine?
Adult stem cells can indefinitely replicate, continuously dividing to create new tissues. In your body, adult stem cells can stay dormant for years, then produce new tissues when activated by an injury or disease.
Some adult stems cells are limited to producing one type of tissue. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are different: They’re capable of regenerating multiple tissues, including bone, muscles, and connective tissues.
When a concentrated amount of MSCs is injected, they relieve pain and stimulate healing of musculoskeletal conditions. Specifically, they:
- Reduce inflammation
- Increase blood vessel growth
- Regenerate bone, muscle, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons
Where Do Stem Cells Come From?
Stem cell injections are safe because they contain your own MSCs. Dr. Hirsch extracts bone marrow from your hip, then uses a centrifuge to separate the MSCs from other cells in the bone marrow sample. These concentrated MSCs are used in your stem cell treatment.
How is Platelet-Rich Plasma Used in Regenerative Medicine?
Your blood naturally contains platelets, which are rich sources of specialized proteins called growth factors. Growth factors promote healing by stimulating new tissue production, including blood vessels, muscles, and connective tissues.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) contains a higher concentration of platelets than normal blood plasma. It’s made by drawing a sample of your blood, then using a centrifuge to separate the platelets from other blood components. When PRP is injected into an injured area, it decreases inflammation and regenerates tissues.
What Medical Conditions are Treated with Stem Cells and Platelet-Rich Plasma?
MSCs and PRP can be used alone to regenerate tissues, but they’re often combined in the same injection. Besides supporting the healing process, PRP boosts stem cell effectiveness. MSCs and PRP are used to treat many different musculoskeletal conditions, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Torn and damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments
- Tendinitis, bursitis, and epicondylitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Chronic pain conditions
Whether you have chronic pain, a degenerative condition, or an acute orthopedic injury, you may be a candidate for regenerative medicine. Call Dr. Hirsch or use online booking to schedule a consultation.