The standard of care in regenerative medicine and cellular orthopedics has been, and continues to be, your Concentrated Stem Cells. My research and resulting evidence continue to support our ongoing clinical focus; whether the stem cells are harvested from bone marrow or, more recently from adipose tissue (fat). Unfortunately, not all patients with osteoarthritis are candidates for a Stem Cell procedure because of co-morbidities or the inability to discontinue certain medications. When we are unable to complete a stem cell procedure for a patient with symptoms and limitations imposed by osteoarthritis, what are the alternatives, and which alternative is best?
When I am unable to harvest your stem cells, I look to your venous blood containing platelets and plasma for that which might control your pain and improve joint function. Filtered and concentrated, the Extra Cellular Vesicles, Proteins, and Molecules in the platelets and plasma provide a possible resource for managing your arthritis. One such resource is A2M (Alpha-2-Macroglobulin), a protein that naturally occurs in plasma blocking molecules responsible for creating arthritis in the body. By harvesting a patient’s A2M and re-injecting the super concentrated A2M mixture into the diseased joint, the progression of arthritis (specifically, osteoarthritis) can be stopped as well as preventing further loss of cartilage while promoting tissue growth and relief from inflammation/pain. Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein is another resource but space is limited so I will review IRAP next time.
The problem is that not all joints respond to Platelet Rich Plasma interventions nor is there a predictable time to or duration of response. Remember that the term Platelet Rich Plasma is generic with many available Cellular Orthopedic treatments included under the category: PRP. The best PRP treatment would ideally be determined by a cellular marker. That is a test to identify joints that will likely do well with an A2M treatment. This test is called the fibronectin-aggrecan G3 complex test (FAC). It specifically identifies significant levels of the very specific protein which is highly diagnostic for arthritis.
How It Works
The body naturally produces proteins that degrade cartilage when the joint is injured. A2M is a powerful inhibitor of three specific protein classes that cause cartilage to break down: Cytokines, Matrix Metalloproteinases, and A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase with Thrombospondin. By blocking these proteins, A2M injections can stop the progression of Osteoarthritis (once those proteins are trapped, the body can eliminate them quickly) as well as support cartilage restoration.
Blood is collected from the patient and then processed using an Alpha 2 Macroglobulin concentrator with a centrifuge and filtration system. The super concentrated amount of A2M is now ready to be injected into the patient’s affected joint using ultrasound guidance.
After the procedure, you may experience minimal discomfort for 3-5 days; then comes experience pain relief in 4-6 weeks. I will monitor you until the return to pre-procedural activities. The regenerative process continues to work over a period of 6 months to a year with most of my patients continuing to improve in function/movement and decreasing in inflammation/pain.
To learn more, visit my website at www.sheinkopmd.com. To schedule a consultation, call (312) 475-1893.