Regenerative injections, also known as orthobiologic shots, include platelet-rich plasma (PRP), amniotic membrane and liquid, alpha-2 macroglobulin and mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)

1)            Cortisone has not gotten the job done – corticosteroid injections are potent anti-inflammatories and can be effective in treating inflamed conditions, but these have either zero or even a detrimental impact on healing. Most chronic tendon problems are not inflammatory, and therefore, cortisone will provide minimal long-term benefit. Not all cases associated with arthritis are inflammatory either.

2)            You are hoping to avoid surgical procedure or you had surgery and are less than satisfied-  we can say that certain surgeries produce superior outcomes compared to nonsurgical therapy, particularly in younger and active individuals. Examples include ACL reconstruction after a full ACL tear and shoulder backing procedures after multiple dislocations. However , there are numerous conditions which have equal or superior outcomes with nonsurgical treatment. For instance , small tears of the rotator cuff, hamstring, patellar plus Achilles tendons; plantar fasciitis; degenerative meniscal tears; tennis plus golfer’ s elbow and mild to moderate osteo arthritis of the knee, hip, shoulder and basal thumb shared. These conditions are ideal candidates for regenerative shots, especially when traditional surgical and nonsurgical treatments are not making major levels of benefit

3)            Cost-   no, insurance plan does not cover regenerative injections. However , these injections are created to provide long-term or permanent benefit. The expected targets are months to years of reduction in pain, improvement within function, soft tissue healing and slowing or hanging joint degeneration, i. e., preventing osteoarthritis from obtaining worse. Thus, these injections have a very good chance of  saving you money . These benefits translate into less physician’ s visits, fewer trips to physical treatment (although we still see the value of PT), fewer medicines and potentially, the elimination of the need for an expensive surgical treatment.

4)            You want a game-changing treatment, not one that just treats symptoms-   regenerative injections are designed to change the environment from the area injected. Through the introduction of nutrients, growth elements and potentially stem cells, the goal of these injections would be to not only make a patient feel and function better, but also to make a healing response. This can mean tendon or ligament regrowth, cartilage regeneration and/or the reduction of unhealthy irritation in the area of damage.

5)            The medical literature – even though insurance companies would like to paint regenerative injections as “ experimental” and thus not pay for them, the truth is that there are now countless studies that demonstrate a clinically significant benefit within the treatment of chronic tendon problems and osteoarthritis with regenerative injections. In fact , hot off the press, a prominent sports activities medicine journal just posted a detailed review of orthobiologic shots. The authors came to this conclusion:   There was clearly a total of 21 PRP ( platelet-rich flat screen ) studies in the study. All PRP research showed clinical improvement with PRP therapies in results surveys measuring patient satisfaction, pain, and function ….   The one PRP study that a new 2nd look arthroscopy reported increased cartilage regeneration along with PRP. All 8 MSC ( mesenchymal originate cell ) studies with follow-up MRI and everything 7 MSC studies with 2nd look arthroscopy demonstrated improvement in cartilage regeneration in terms of coverage, fill from the defect, and/or firmness of the new cartilage.

Translation: patients are very pleased with their outcomes after receiving these injections, and there is certainly evidence that new cartilage is growing in response to these shots.

In conclusion, regenerative injections are rapidly entering and evolving within the planet of orthopedic medicine. At this point, both their present plus future look very bright. When considering a regenerative shot, seek the consultation of a medical doctor who has vast encounter in researching and performing these procedures.

-Clarke Holmes, Mirielle. D.  

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