Summit Orthopedics’ orthobiologics specialists Kirk Scofield, M.D., Steven Stulc, D.O., and Andrew Clary, D.O., discuss how this emerging treatment works with our bodies’ natural healing process, as well as the kinds of conditions it is most commonly used to treat.
Kirk Scofield, M.D.: Regenerative medicine is the process by which we take the healing parts of your own body in the form of cellular components, proteins, signaling molecules. We take ’em and we isolate ’em, concentrate ’em, and then we take that healing potential and we either put it in a place where there is an injury in the form of a graft in surgery. Or we actually inject that right into a joint, or tendon, or ligament that’s been injured to start or accelerate a healing process that is going on there after an injury.
Steven Stulc, D.O.: Some of the most common applications for these regenerative therapies being platelet-rich plasma and bone marrow aspirate concentrate are for osteoarthritic problems, arthritic knees, hips, and shoulders. For chronic tendon problems or tendonopathies are painful, most likely in the elbow, the common extensor tendon also known as tennis elbow, or in the knee tendon, called patellar tendonopathy. Other soft tissues such as muscles or ligaments can also be addressed. In the spine, it can be into the spine joint. It’s called the facet joints. Sacroiliac joints, there are some studies looking at both platelet-rich plasma and bone marrow aspirate concentrate be put into a disc that’s causing pain. And those are some of the main applications for these products.
Andrew Clary, D.O.: With regenerative medicine, the expectations usually are to relieve pain, increase function. If you do these regenerative treatment options, you usually don’t see any major structural changes, but you see functional improvements and pain relief, and that’s again our major goal at Summit is to give you more function, have less pain, treat the underlying problem.