What makes PRP and Stem Cell Injections with Regenexx Superior?
Our Bodies Can Regenerate Themselves
Sometimes we take our bodies for granted in how robust and durable they are as biomechanical machines. When your car suffers from a minor injury such as a flat tire, you have no choice but to replace it before you are able to get back on the road. There is no way for the car to continue to drive for very long without addressing the flat tire first. Therefore, we cannot use our car until we treat its "injury" by replacing the tire. Our bodies, on the other hand, can almost miraculously adapt to an injury and have the ability to regenerate some of the injured tissues. Unless the injury is severe and debilitating we can often continue moving for a long time before we are affected by minor injuries. By using pain as a signal that tells your body that you are injured, your body will naturally adjust its movement, often unconsciously, in order to avoid the pain and allow the injury to heal. Most minor injuries will heal on their own. However, some do not and many of us will end up accumulating these nagging pains as we age.
Why Shouldn't You Ignore Your Nagging Pains Until Later in Life?
The minor injuries that we accumulate as we age are usually inconsequential and do not affect us on a daily basis. However, as we get older, our bodies are not as adaptable as they are in our youth and these injuries can begin to interfere with our lives. A lumbar disc herniation obtained while playing high school football could become debilitating low back pain in your 50's. A minor rotator cuff tear while playing tennis could become severe shoulder arthritis in your 70's. The exact mechanism by which this occurs is debatable, but one promising idea is that the change in the way you naturally move due to an injury can cause new issues down the line, especially when it comes to your joints. Your body is changing the amount of stress and strain that is normally distributed in an efficient way through your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This can manifest in an increase in strain and movement within the joint space, ultimately leading to degenerative conditions like arthritis and even further injury to other components of the joint. Granted, these ideas are currently being studied and are likely oversimplified in this explanation but these basic fundamentals are what guides treatment with Regenexx procedures.
Why is Regenexx Safer?
The philosophy behind Regenexx is that we can restore some of the efficiency of the joint by treating the various structures that distribute stress around the joint as well as the joint itself. These structures are often the tendons, ligaments, and cartilage within and surrounding the joint being treated. Many other providers that are not Regenexx affiliated perform procedures with PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) and Bone-Marrow-Derived Stem Cells, however, the procedures that these providers perform are often inconsistent in technique and design. PRP and stem cell procedures are currently being reviewed by the FDA and the governing body has been awfully slow with regulating the field, so many providers who perform PRP and stem cell injections today do so in a way that is not standardized. Sometimes these procedures are performed without ultrasound or fluoroscopic (X-Ray) guidance at the bedside, by providers with minimal experience or training, by non-physician providers, or even in an unsterile fashion. Regenexx affiliated providers are carefully selected and undergo rigorous training. They also abide by the Regenexx philosophy when it comes to thinking about a joint's function. These doctors often believe in the power of regenerative medicine and want the best for their patients. Regenexx procedures offer another treatment option for patients that suffer from chronic pain conditions, especially when it comes to pain that is caused by a dysfunctional joint. At Ospina Medical, we see the value in these procedures for our patients and offer it not only by highly trained physicians but also in a safe and accredited facility.
What makes Regenexx the Best?
Part of the reason Regenexx procedures are superior is because of their high safety standards, but there are numerous other reasons that the Regenexx family of procedures are superior to your standard PRP and Stem Cell injections performed by another provider:
- The technique that Regenexx facilities use to isolate Platelets and Stem Cells from your blood and bone marrow respectively is the most important factor that sets Regenexx apart from its competitors. This is because the procedure of isolating PRP and Stem Cells is performed by a professional lab tech in-house, in a lab-grade biosafety cabinet with sterile techniques. Other PRP and Stem Cell companies and providers often use bedside kits that are meant to be used by anyone. The Regenexx method of isolating PRP and Stem Cells translates to a more powerful response to each individual injection. This is because the Regenexx method results in a significantly higher yield of platelet concentrations than bedside kits and with fewer contaminants. Similarly, the Regenexx method of isolating Stem Cells from bone marrow yields higher concentrations of desirable stem cells with cell counts. Other methods of processing PRP can have a lower concentration of platelets with many contaminants and no other method of processing Stem Cells can show cell counts.
- Another key difference between Regenexx processing and bedside processing is that Regenexx processing allows providers the power to customize the PRP and Stem Cell products to target the patient's specific injuries. With bedside kits, every patient's sample is processed in the exact same way and everyone ends up with the same volume and concentration of PRP and Stem Cells so providers cannot customize the injections and are likely limited in their treatment options.
- Regenexx has published a large amount of the world's research on the use of Bone-Marrow-Derived Stem Cells for orthopedic conditions. They also hold many patents on their technology and protocols.
- The procedures themselves are based on the philosophy that the entire joint that is being treated functions as a unit. Therefore, a patient's treatment plan is created by his or her physician based on the individual's own symptoms, anatomy, and injuries. Because our physicians believe that there are many structures in the joint that contribute to the way it functions, there are often multiple injections targeting the various tendons, ligaments, and cartilage that make up the joint. Many other providers simply inject into the joint space or into the injured structure without treating the other structures that make up the joint.
- Regenexx affiliated providers are trained specialists within the field. Our doctors at Ospina Medical are both highly trained at some of the most prestigious facilities in the world and have years of experience in the field of interventional pain and minimally invasive catheter-based procedures. They have also undergone further training with Regenexx and have much experience performing these procedures for their patients over the years.
As mentioned before, the FDA is currently reviewing PRP and Stem Cell procedures and their efficacy when it comes to treating many orthopedic conditions as a sole agent. Due to this fact, most insurance providers do not cover PRP or stem cell procedures. However, this being said, we believe regenerative medicine in the field of orthopedics is most likely going to be here to stay especially when one compares regenerative medicine procedures to the current alternatives for orthopedic conditions such as conservative therapy, medications, minimally invasive pain procedures, and ultimately orthopedic surgery.
Regenexx is currently the most evidence-backed and robust regenerative medicine network that exists in the United States. Additionally, Regenexx has published roughly half of all research worldwide on the use of bone marrow concentrate for orthopedic conditions and continues to conduct lab-based research to help optimize outcomes. With its constantly evolving manual-based processing platform and specialized provider network, Regenexx treatments are able to consistently outperform bedside centrifuge PRP and stem cell procedures. As such, when considering regenerative medicine treatment options, it is crucial to realize that not all PRP and stem cell procedures are created equal. Just as importantly, consider the physician performing the procedures to ensure they have specialized training specifically in regenerative medicine. At Ospina Medical, we pride ourselves on having two highly trained interventional pain physicians who are also certified by the Interventional Orthobiologics Foundation to treat all advanced orthopedic complaints with both PRP and bone-marrow-derived stem cells.
If you are interested in learning more about PRP, Stem Cells, or other topics within orthopedic and pain medicine please check out some of the other articles on our blog! If you are interested in treatment with Regenexx please schedule an appointment with one of our physicians today!
Author: Ospina Medical Team