Many of us are excited to watch the 2016 Summer Olympics being held in Rio de Janeiro. Therefore, Regeneris Medical is proud to announce that our partner practice, Tristan Medical Enterprises (TME) was recently given the opportunity to be a sponsor of the 2016 Olympic Games. Congratulations TME and all participating athletes!
Olympic sponsorship has given our health professional staff reason to ponder the incredible effort athletes put into training for the Olympics, and how we treat sports injuries at Regeneris Medical. The magnificent effort and athletic prowess of Olympians inspire us all, but especially those of us who exercise for purposes of recreation, health or athletic competition. (That is hopefully a large majority of people!)
Despite the rewards of athletic training and effort (such as weight loss or winning a game), knowing the pain of a sports-related joint injury can still be enough to hold some athletes back.
Types of Sports Injuries
During an interview, Olympic Volleyball player Brooke Sweat describes her rotator cuff injury and her fear of not being able to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics (due to the six to nine month recovery required with traditional, invasive surgical treatment initially recommended to her).
All I could think about was how Regeneris Medical can help professional athletes like Ms. Sweat (as well as non-athletes!) with our innovative, cellular therapies. Unfortunately, Ms. Sweat says she opted for a less invasive arthroscopic surgery to “clean it up,” but one which still required weeks of recovery.
(Watch the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLx6Ur5G3VM)
Sports injuries can take the form of a muscle sprain or strain, a dislocated joint, a fractured bone, or tears of tendons or ligaments. In athletes of any age, an injury can result in missing competition, work or school, in addition to experiencing temporary pain and disability while the body repairs itself.
According to the National Health Interview Survey, publications exist which estimate that there are 26 sports and recreational exercise related injuries for every 1,000 persons in the United States.
Joint Injury in Older Adults
Not unlike professional athletes like Ms. Sweat, older adults may live with chronic pain due to past sports injuries, overuse injuries, or a lifetime of repetitive-motion or other physical stresses.
Some conditions such a person may experience include degenerative disc disease of the spine, or osteoarthritis of any joint. These conditions can be debilitating and may prevent the person from participating in athletic activities or even completing household chores.
Pain caused by injuries may lead to other health issues, and is most often resolved with extensive surgical repair or total joint replacement. However, surgical solutions can be painful, and require long recovery periods.
Regenerative Cellular Therapies
Our health-care professionals at Regeneris Medical are working hard to spread the word that surgery is NOT your only option! Regeneris Medical offers cellular therapies that may augment the body’s natural healing process, and have potential to benefit patients with sports injuries and/or chronic pain.
There are two types of cellular that we specialize in:
• Platelet rich plasma (PRP) • Stromal vascular fraction (SVF)
PRP is a concentrated form of activated platelets. Whenever tissue damage occurs, a natural healing process occurs in which platelets from a person’s own blood release bioactive proteins that initiate and facilitate healing. Regeneris Medical uses a PRP therapy that enhances the natural healing process by drawing and separating platelets from the patient’s own blood and injecting the platelets into the injured joint. Within the separated platelets are growth factors that signal the cells to multiply and to repair injured tissues.
A PRP therapy session takes approximately one hour. Tissue repair begins immediately and platelets remain active for up to 18 months, during which time they release potent growth factors. Some mild discomfort immediately following the procedure can be expected at the site of injection.
SVF is another method of cellular therapy that shows tremendous promise in healing and regenerating wounded joint tissue. During SVF, stem cells are extracted from a small amount of the patient’s fat cells, which are typically taken from the abdomen in a non-cosmetic, mini-liposuction procedure. The Regeneris Medical doctor can extract up to 10 million stem cells from the harvested fat cells, which are then injected directly into the injured joint. An expected growth and healing cascade occurs with stem cells being differentiated into specific tissues that need repair or replacement.
SVF procedures take about three to four hours to perform. There is a brief healing period from the liposuction, and one surgical stitch on either side of the navel. Generally patients can return to work the following day. And while PRP and SVF are effective administered on their own, injecting PRP and SVF together has the potential to produce exceptional results.
Cellular therapies offer alternatives to more traditional treatment modalities, which can be invasive and are followed by a lengthy recovery.
Think of how PRP and SVF therapies could have enabled Brook Sweat to recover completely and quickly from her rotator cuff injury… She could have potentially returned to Olympic training pain-free and fully healed, without facing an invasive surgery and lengthy recovery period after.
For the average patient, however, cellular therapies like PRP and SVF offer the possibility of resuming normal life activities and pursuing, not contemplating, the joy of physical activity and athletics.
The Regeneris Medical Blog is a resource containing general information about potential uses of stem cell therapies for hair loss, orthopedic injuries, and autoimmune disorders, as well as updates on other popular health topics. The information contained within is not medical advice, and should not replace advice from a medical doctor. If you have questions about your health, consult a physician first.