What is regenerative medicine?

Regenerative medicine, or orthobiologics, is the utilization of your own cells and proteins to trigger the body’s healing response. Many medical treatments address pain, but not healing. Regenerative medicine has the potential to reduce pain as well as improve tissue quality and function. Also, there is minimal risk or side effects. In sports medicine, this field is also referred to as orthobiologics. We are using biology to treat orthopedic conditions.
There are multiple different tissues used for orthobiologics. The most historical is PRP, or platelet rich plasma. This involves concentrating the platelets from the blood. Platelets contain proteins that initiate the healing cascade. These platelets are then injected under image guidance to tendons, joints, or ligaments that are injured.
Bone marrow concentrate and micro fragmented fat can be prepared, which contain stem cells and a healing environment. These preparations are injected most commonly into joints for painful arthritis, but there is also mounting evidence for use in tendon tears.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misleading information shared regarding regenerative medicine and stem cells. An example are the amniotic products. These products do not contain any live stem cells. Another claim is that stem cells transform into new tissue. Stem cells are thought to act as signaling cells. They can stop the death of other cells, and contribute to the recovery of injured tissue, however they do not transform into new tissue.
Orthobiologics do have a ton of potential, and exciting research outcomes continue to be published. I will try to update some of these on our research page.