While bone marrow aspirate contains Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells that are anti-inflammatory and thus pain relieving, there is a lot more to the “cocktail”. In this new world of Cellular Orthopedics, we are constantly being made aware of an increasing potential benefit of not only the stem cells but the environment in which those stem cells live. We know for a fact that MSCs are chondrogenic; in other words, they have the potential to help regenerate cartilage. Cellular biologists have also shown that MSCs may actually give pause to or reverse the arthritic process. In that reversal, we see an improved range of motion, greater function and diminished pain. The aspirated bone marrow when concentrated also contains platelets and plasma. That concentrated platelet layer and remaining plasma are rich in a unique mix of bioactive factors such as collagen, cell adhesion molecules and growth factors, which all promote and enable the healing process.
Tissue regeneration is helped by an inherent mix of cells, electrolytes, growth factors, carbohydrates, lipids, enzymes and hormones inherent in your body and bone marrow. These components work together in the arthritic joint so new cells form, and the injured tissues can be repaired remodeled, and rebuilt back to its normal state. Up until now, my concern has been age and patient dependency on medications for medical co-morbidities such as diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, etc. Certainly, the first line of attack to the limitations imposed by arthritis is a Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Stem cell intervention; but there is more to the story. That’s why for those who don’t realize their goals from a first stem cell procedure, we offer a “booster” with platelet rich plasma. That’s why for those who formerly were considered candidates that would not benefit from Cellular Orthopedics because of age or associated medical illness, we now have alternative options that have proven successful. As those who read this Blog know, I am involved in the Regenerative Medicine initiative combining patient care with Clinical Outcomes monitoring. At any time, I can tell you what works and what isn’t working and thereby improve the procedure. I recently gave a scientific report to the members of the Regenexx Network at their annual Meeting. I then came across that data being used as part of the informed consent process on several web sites totally unrelated to the Regenexx network of physicians. It doesn’t bother me, I feel rewarded for having taken a leadership position in Regenerative Orthopedics. My point is that you have a choice in Cellular Orthopedics; either have your procedure from someone who tells you how they do it or at that center that studies the results as well and takes continued steps to improve results.
As many of you know, we spend heavily on innovation. Last year we started various projects to determine if we could come up with a way of processing bone marrow that nobody had ever used. If so, could we double or even triple the number of stem cells extracted? We didn’t triple the number of stem cells being extracted, we bumped it up 500%+ over what we could do before. Thus Regenexx-SD Plus (SD+) was born.
Using that procedure we could extract about 3-4X stem cells per cc over what was the norm. Below is clinical data for knee arthritis patients from before and after making the switch to the new Regenexx-SD+ procedure. As you can see, there are dramatic, statistically significant changes in the LEFS functional scale (knee function) and pain relief with the new SD+ process when we compare many treated patients. So not only are we getting more stem cells, we’re getting better results. As a Regenexx network member, I offer SD+ .
SD+ is a second generation same day stem cell procedure and we’re already working on the third. We’re on our third generation platelet lysate (a mix of growth factors isolated from platelets) and working on our fourth. We’re on our second generation SCP (Super Concentrated Platelets) and working on our third.