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What You Should Know About Regenerative Medicine for Injuries

Sometimes pesky sports injuries can’t be healed with nonsurgical treatments like rest and physical therapy. If that’s the case, your doctor might recommend regenerative medicine.

What is regenerative medicine?

Regenerative medicine is “the process of creating living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to age, disease, damage, or congenital defects.” The treatment’s ideal outcome is to restore damaged tissue that can’t repair on its own.

The goal of regenerative medicine is to promote the body’s natural healing abilities and growth of new connective tissue. The result? Reductions in pain and improved function.

Regenerative Medicine Treatment Categories

There are three categories of treatment for regenerative medicine:

Cellular therapies promote healing by placing live cells into a patient.

Tissue engineering repairs tissue with natural, man-made or a combination of both tissues. This is typically used for cartilage injuries.

Other therapies try to stimulate the body’s natural ability to repair tissue without introducing other tissues or cells

Understand the Benefits, Risks and Costs of Regenerative Medicine

The medical community’s interest in regenerative medicine continues to grow but has yet to be considered standard practice, nor is it typically covered by insurance plans.

If you’re considering regenerative medicine, ask your doctor first about their experience and training, recommended procedures, costs, and potential side effects. Any trained doctor should be able to explain the scope of the treatment to you.

Regenerative medicine should not replace nonsurgical treatments. Instead, regenerative medicine should be used in conjunction with nonsurgical treatments, like rest or physical therapy, to promote healing.

Further reading:

National Institutes of Health Fact Sheet on Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative Medicine for Sports Injuries 

If you’re considering regenerative medicine, Dr. Sonja Stilp can talk to you about your options and potential treatments available to you. Schedule an appointment.

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