Regenerative medicine is an evolving field that uses innovative treatments like platelet-rich plasma injections to heal wounds and trigger the growth of new, healthy tissue. Dr. Christopher Clark at Premier Spine and Sports Medicine in Hagerstown, Maryland, proudly offers regenerative medicine. Contact the office or schedule an appointment online to learn how these treatments effectively treat musculoskeletal conditions like knee pain and sports injuries.
Regenerative medicine uses new tissues or cells to replace or repair parts of the body that are aren’t functioning due to disease, damage, or age. Treatments in this field use three approaches:
Your blood contains cells called platelets, which are filled with growth factors: Proteins that promote cell growth and survival. Platelets also stimulate the new blood vessel growth and other tissues, so they’re vital for the healing process.
Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is blood plasma with a higher concentration of platelets than blood typically contains. When Dr. Clark injects PRP into a damaged part of the body, the platelets go to work, speeding up healing and triggering the new tissue growth to replace damaged tissues.
PRP is made from your blood, so you don’t need to worry about compatibility. After Dr. Clark draws blood, the platelets are separated and removed. Then he can add a concentrated amount of platelets back to a small amount of your plasma and inject it.
Dr. Clark can use platelet-rich plasma to heal injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. Studies in animals suggest PRP may even help heal bones.
Dr. Clark may use PRP to treat any musculoskeletal injury, but he often uses it for tendon and ligament injuries, chronic tendon conditions like Achilles tendonitis, knee osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tears, and torn ligaments in the knee.
Embryonic stem cells can develop into any tissue in the body. After the body fully develops, each system has adult stem cells. Those cells continue to produce new cells and tissues, but only for one specific type of tissue. For example, adult stem cells in muscles can only produce muscle cells.
Dr. Clark can harvest adult stem cells from your body, either from fat cells or damaged tissue. Then the cells are mixed with growth factors from your platelets and injected back into damaged tissue or joints to promote healing and new tissue growth.