Unlike traditional medical treatments for chronic joint or back pain, such as surgery, regenerative medicine offers a viable alternative by regenerating damaged ligaments, tendons, and cartilage by stimulating the body’s own repair mechanisms to heal weakened and painful tissues.
Because regenerative medicine is scientifically advanced and may be unfamiliar to the general public, many individuals desire more education before consulting with a specialist for treatment for chronic pain. Here are some frequently asked questions, which may help patients decide if regenerative medical treatment is right for them.
1. What are the potential benefits of regenerative treatment compared to surgery?
The main benefit of regenerative therapy is that patients see a significant decrease in pain and improvement in function, while experiencing a speedy recovery time.
Although surgery may be needed for advanced or severe issues, this is usually not the case. Regenerative procedures are considered low risk compared to inpatient surgery, which can carry the risks of anesthesia and blood loss. In addition, there is risk in removing tissue that is typically meant to stabilize and support a joint.
2. Which medical conditions can be treated with regenerative medicine?
The main application of regenerative treatment is for degenerative disc disease and chronic damage to tendons and ligaments. It can also be treated for disc bulges of the spine. In addition, regenerative medicine is used for arthritis, tendinitis, and various chronic painful joint conditions.
3. How soon can I resume my physical activities after regenerative therapy?
Some patients see improvement within a few days after the first injection and can resume regular activities. However, some conditions may take more time. If you have an acute injury, improvement can be seen over several weeks. For chronic injuries and pain, it can take a few months. Treatment conditions can be reassessed weekly or monthly. The number of treatments to heal or manage your condition depends on severity and duration of the medical condition. Patients can discuss the number of injections expected to treat their condition with their physician during the initial consultation.
4. What are the risks or side effects with regenerative therapy?
Regenerative therapy is minimally invasive and carries very low risks and side effects. Because the stem cells or platelets are taken from your own body, the inherent risks of regenerative treatments are lower compared to steroid injections or surgery. As with the risk of any injectable treatment there is the risk of bleeding, pain, tissue injury, localized soreness, infection, and of course no response to treatment. Risks are minimized by using standard protocols of sterility and safety. In addition, the risk of tissue injury is reduced by using imaging guidance during all procedures.
5. Are treatments legal?
Yes. Because the stem cells used are from your own body and they are not grown in a lab, the FDA does not object to this procedure. Furthermore, over-manipulation and holding cells for prolonged periods of time are not allowed. The procedures used are consistent with minimal manipulation and same day guidelines.
Don’t live with ongoing pain when there are cutting-edge therapies that are very effective. Call the Spine Institute Northwest at (208) 496-0630 to see if regenerative therapy is right for you.