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Regenerative Medicine for Improvement of Arthritis Symptoms

written by: Sherry Morris • edited by: Tania Cowling • updated: 4/4/2011

Regenerative medicine for arthritis seems to have good reviews. With only one to six treatments patients are reporting better mobility and pain relief.

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    PRP - Platelet Rich Plasma

    Regenerative therapy for arthritis is autologous cell therapy, which is a cell therapy using the patients own tissue and blood. Autologus refers to cells, tissues or even growth factors that are implanted into the same patient they came from. This procedure used to be done only in a hospital setting due to the cost. New technology permits a doctor to harvest and produce a sufficient quantity of cells from 30 to 50 cc of blood drawn. It takes 20 minutes to harvest the cells before injecting.

    During the healing process, the body rushes many cells to the injected area to accelerate the healing process. Another function is attracting mesenchymal stem cells (which are multi potent stem cells) that differentiate into a variety of cell types; including bone cells cartilage cells and fat cells.

    Stimulating stem cells helps to regenerate new tissue. The more growth factors released into the damaged cells, the more stem cells stimulated to produce new host issues.

    The process of this regeneration is for a stem cell to attract to the injured or damaged cartilage by chemical signals released from the damaged cartilage that attract stem cells. The stem cells then engraft into the damaged cartilage where new cartilage is formed.

    The number of treatments depends on the amount of tissue damage, the size of the area needing to be injected and the patients healing capabilities. Each treatment by itself has its own benefits. People usually need between one and six treatments. There is no down time and people can return to work or their usual activities immediately.

    Some patients want to be pain free while others need strength or range of motion, others just want to be able to walk. A functional level of life and doing daily activities can mean so much to those who no longer have it.

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    Images

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    Bone Marrow Harvesting

    Bone marrow harvesting for arthritis is performed under light sedation and local anesthetic. The procedure takes approximately 20 minutes.

    After the bone marrow is collected, stem cell processing begins. Advanced bone marrow processing technology then begins while the patient is still sedated. Upon completion, they are readied for immediate implantation. These stem cells are capable of down regulating inflammation and repairing damaged tissue caused by arthritis. This process differs from conventional medical treatment because it is a drug free treatment that focuses on treating the physical effects of arthritis to improve the patient's quality of life.

    Most patients treated require only one treatment to obtain relief.

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    The Bottom Line...

    Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a new treatment for arthritis, which seems to so far be quite successful. A simple and effective treatment with no down time and immediate relief starting with the first treatment. Each treatment seems to have its own benefits with only one to six treatments being necessary. The number of treatments is determined by your physician and each individual case.

    In studies, most patients have responded to bone marrow harvesting, most dramatically, however, there seems to be a trend towards relapse in some patients.