A Revolution in Biologics
There is a major gap for orthopedic treatment options between conservative treatment and surgery. Platelet Rich Plasma and stem cells from Bone Marrow Concentrate offer a therapeutic treatment option.
Platelet Rich Plasma
Growth factors contained therein control cellular activity fundamental for repair. When I went to medical school, I was taught that the platelet function was solely to play a role in blood clotting. We now know that the function of platelets is more complex as they give rise to Growth Factors -Cytokines-in addition to partaking in the coagulation cascade.
While there are multiple types of stem cells, in the present era of orthopedic care of the musculoskeletal system, the term stem cell should be understood to indicate an adult mesenchymal autologous source of origin. They come from your own bone marrow; not a fetus, not from someone else.
Mesenchymal stem cells help repair muscle, bone cartilage and tendon. Since they are autologous, they are yours so no risk of genetic disease transmission. They act as construction managers helping other cells build and repair new musculoskeletal tissue. MSCs are used therapeutically because they recruited to sites of inflammation or tissue injury and secrete massive levels of bioactive substances that are both immune modulating and tropic ( build tissue). The potential tropic effect seems to diminish as we age; hence little chance of my influencing cartilage regrowth after age 50. However, the immunomodulation capacity of mesenchymal stem cells has a profound and immediate effect on joint chemistry and biology by muting or eliminating the chronic inflammation observed in osteoarthritis. As far as risks, the FDA allows use of these cells as long as they they are put back in the same patient and minimally manipulated.