Experts in Regenerative Medicine
Regenerative Medicine is a new way to treat a range of diseases and conditions, including chronic pain. Urgent Care of Oconee utilizes the latest science and technology to stimulate the healing of ligaments, tendons, cartilage and muscles so that you can get back to painless activity.
Urgent Care of Oconee offers PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) and Stem Cell Regenerative Treatments. These methods use a persons own blood or bone marrow to heal the site of an injury.
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is concentrated from your own blood, which contains healing factors, such as white blood cells and bioactive proteins, called growth factors and stem cell markers. These cells are vital for tissue regeneration and repair.
Platelets once thought of being responsible for only clotting, have been scientifically proven to be a reservoir of these vital healing components. With advanced techniques, we are able to concentrate these regenerative healing cells in a simple outpatient setting.
A small amount of peripheral blood is taken from the patient and placed into an FDA medically approved container. This sterile disposable container is placed in a specialized centrifuge, for spinning, to separate the whole blood sample into ‘layers’ of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and red blood cells.
The PRP layer is aspirated from the red blood cells and is injected or applied, under sterile conditions, into the localized area of abnormality. After centrifugation, the whole blood is separated into a PRP layer and red blood cell layer.
PRP is from your own blood, autologous, so there is little to no risk when conducted by a trained professional. Since the cells are autologous, there is no risk for an allergic or immune reaction. Side effects or complications with PRP are extremely rare.
The total process can last up to 30 minutes. However, the majority of time will be used for processing by a trained medical specialist.
PRP signals for Stem cells and regenerative cells to repair and rebuild the damaged tissue. This accelerated healing process reduces pain, promotes increased strength, and improves overall function. The process, called the healing cascade, can be active and take place over a 4-6 week period.
Patients can expect to see significant improvement in symptoms throughout the healing time. This procedure may eliminate the need for further invasive treatments, such as surgery or prolonged use of medications.
While other treatments such as corticosteroid injections may provide temporary relief and stop inflammation, PRP injections stimulate healing of the injury over a shorter time period with fewer side effects.
Patients usually report a gradual improvement in symptoms and return of function. Many patients require two to three treatments to obtain optimal results and may even experience a dramatic return of function and relief within 2-3 months.
The anesthetic used to numb the skin generally wears off in 1-2 hours. Mild pain and swelling may occur at the injection site. However, the majority of patients are able to return to usual activities with NO downtime.
You must be particularly careful not to traumatize the area during this post-treatment time frame. Initially, the procedure may cause some localized soreness and discomfort. Patients can apply ice and elevation as needed.
Use the area as tolerated since restricting movement for an extended time can cause stiffening. Movement and massages promote circulation in the area and also assist with healing. After a week, the patient will likely begin a rehabilitation program with physical therapy. Pain medication will be prescribed if needed.
Stem Cell Therapy
Bone marrow is the soft spongy tissue that is found in the center of your bones. In adults, marrow in the large bones is the producing center of your red blood cells, white blood cells, and plasma components. Since this is the location of production, immature forms of these cells called stem cells will be found here.
The immature stem cells found inside the bone marrow have the potential to develop into various mature cells such as a muscle cell, the cells of a vessel, cells of cartilage, or even bone cells. Two of the main stems cells found in bone marrow include:
Hematopoietic stem cells give rise to the three classes of blood cells that are found in circulation: white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. These are the cells that actually drive tissue regeneration and create supportive circulation.
Mesenchymal stem cells are also known as marrow stromal cells. These cells have the capacity to form osteoblasts or bone structure, chondrocytes or cartilage, and myocytes or muscles.
Bone marrow extractions have been accepted and are used in fields such as oncology and hematology. The vital components in bone marrow were initially used for transplant purposes in patients with an immune deficiency, such as caused by blood cancers or disorders. The skill of extracting has not changed, but the donor is YOU, and the recipient is YOU preventing any rejection or allergic reactions.
Bone marrow extractions are safe procedures when conducted by a trained professional in a sterile environment.
Complications Are Rare But Can Include
Bone marrow stem cells are the regenerative cells responsible for repair and rebuilding damaged tissue. The concentrated cells accelerate the healing process, promote strength, offer pain relief, and improve overall function. The healing cascade can be active and take place over 4 to 6 weeks. A follow-up PRP procedure may be recommended if desired relief is not met.
Treatment is in an outpatient setting. The actual extraction can take up to 10 minutes, but the concentrating process may take up to one hour, during which the patient will be waiting.
The area of extraction is locally numbed, so pain is minimal. Bone marrow is extracted from the back of the patient’s pelvis, or hipbone from an area called the posterior iliac crest. A suctioned syringe attached to a long needle is used to reach the posterior aspect of the hip, during which minimal discomfort is felt due to local anesthetic.
The collected sample is transferred through a filter then placed into a centrifuge. Spinning at a high-speed separates the platelets and stem cells from the bone marrow sample. This concentration of stem cells and healing components are collectively known as the bone marrow concentrate, are reintroduced to the injured area.
Prior to your procedure, you should drink plenty of fluids and eat a good meal. Please consult with your physician about medications or prior history of blood disorders. Pain control will be given if needed.
The majority of patients are able to return to usual activities within 1 to 2 days, but some pain may be felt for up to one week.