Bob Dylan released his third studio album The Times They Are A-Changin’ in 1964; but history was in a constant state of flux before and Regenerative Medicine continues to evolve. While I am concerned about devolution in our civility and world; that’s outside the scope of my medical Blog and I will leave Gulliver’s Travels to Jonathan Swift. Returning to the thrilling Interventional Orthopedic days of now and the future, how might we improve Cellular Orthopedic outcomes? Be reminded that Regenerative Therapies for now are and have been based on rapid concentration of your (autologous) progenitor cells, platelets, growth factors and proteins. Change in Regenerative Medicine is difficult and must meet stringent FDA criteria.  I am thrilled to announce that this past Friday, I received preliminary IRB approval for my protocol VQ-501-K wherein pulsed electrical stimulation will be added to the Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate/Stem Cell intervention process for osteoarthritis.

The safety and efficacy of pulsed electrical stimulation for treatment of osteoarthritis has been tested and confirmed. As well, the improvements in clinical measures for pain and function by Pulsed Electrical Stimulation have been documented. In a Regenerative Medicine conference I attended last year, challenge was put forth concerning modalities that might improve results of Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate/ Stem Cell intervention and act as a catalyst for post intervention cartilage regeneration. By chance, I was part of an investigational group on the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee with pulsed electrical stimulation five years ago and I decided to review a potential role for post Stem Cell intervention with the pulsed brace. It took nine months but Friday came the preliminary approval and we will begin the trial in short order.

There are all kinds of unproven, anecdotal approaches in an attempt to restore cartilage in a degenerative arthritic setting but Pulsed Electrical Stimulation is the only methodology shown in the laboratory and in the clinical setting to have efficacy. At the same time in hundreds of patient studies, there have been no adverse effects.  As we review the effect of Pulsed Electrical Stimulation on cartilage under a microscope, the device is safe with no adverse effect on cells. It makes sense; the adjunct is cost effective and just may help us do even better.

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