Regenerative Medicine is a relatively new branch of medicine that seeks to promote healing and repair of native tissues that are damaged. Using various chemicals, growth factors, and cell transplants, the goal of the treatment is to heal a variety of organs within the body. Currently there are thousands of studies into regeneration and repair. These studies address a wide range of medical problems such as arthritis, tendon tears, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, COPD, heart damage, and even cancer.
The cornerstone of Regenerative Medicine is stem cell therapy. Stem cells are immature cells that can differentiate into any type of cell, including muscle, tendon, nerve, cartilage, skin, and bone. People have their own stem cells, but these become less vigorous with aging. That is why children heal a bone break so much faster than older people. Stem cells can sense chemical signals from damaged tissue and move to the site of damage to regenerate what has been lost to injury or disease. Stem cells rely on the natural inflammatory process to do their work.
Current stem cell therapies are all regarded investigational and are not reimbursed by medical insurance companies. There are many stem cell studies showing benefit, but the studies vary widely in the type of cells used and the protocol used. Stem cells can be derived from bone marrow, fat, amniotic fluid, platelet rich plasma, embryos, placenta, or cord blood. Some centers obtain the stem cells and give them directly, others harvest and then grow the cells in a lab. The FDA is cracking down on some places that grow stem cells in unstandardized conditions.
Magnolia Medical Group uses both platelet rich plasma (PRP) and amnion derived stem cells. Most of the time Magnolia uses both together since they have additive anti-inflammatory substances and growth factors. Magnolia Medical Group does not grow any cells but give them directly to the patient. They have had many patients benefit from this treatment for knee arthritis. It can be used for arthritis in other joints, too.
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