Regenerative medicine is an umbrella term for a branch of medicine that uses and tissue engineering to �fix� tissues that have failed to repair themselves.?
Regenerative medicine � which is being tried primarily in osteoarthritis (OA) -- has two branches. One is tissue engineering, which tries to create replacements for damaged tissue. The other is self-healing, which uses injections of or blood products to push the body to repair itself.?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is probably most widely performed of these procedures. Blood is drawn from the patient and spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from other blood components. The platelets are then injected into problem areas.
How it Works: Your body�s first response to injury is to send platelets to the site. This blood component contains growth factors and other nutrients. PRP is thought to boost that natural response.
Benefits: PRP is done fairly quickly and generally requires only one injection. It provides symptomatic relief that may last three to six months.2. Autologous Conditioned Serum
Called Orthokine in Europe and Regenokine in the United States, ACS uses the patient�s own blood to fight pain. Your blood is processed to increase the anti-inflammatory proteins and growth factors it contains. Then it is injected in your affected joints, usually in a series of shots.
How it works: Regenokine blocks interleukin-1 (IL-1), a key player in inflammation. It relieves pain and could conceivably slow OA damage.
Benefits: Treatment is safe and well-tolerated. Like PRP, studies show only symptom relief, but no evidence of any tissue regrowth.
3. Cartilage Repair and Restoration
When small holes or tears develop in cartilage, usually as a result of injury, they can leave areas of bare bone. Over time, these can lead to OA. Filling them with repair tissue can relieve pain, improve function and delay or prevent the need for surgery later on. A few different techniques are available.
How it works: Microfracture involves drilling tiny holes in the bony layer under the defect, where a blood clot forms and eventually fibrocartilage grows. Fibrocartilage isn�t as strong or durable as the cartilage we were born with (called hyaline cartilage).
In cartilage transplantation, a plug of cartilage and bone is taken either from a healthy part of your knee or from a donated source at a tissue bank. The plug is then transplanted into the cartilage defect.
Matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte implantation (MACI) involves removing a small piece of cartilage from a non-weight-bearing part of the knee. It�s sent to a lab where the cartilage cells are grown on a membrane. The resulting membrane sheet can be cut to fit the defect