Regenerative Injection Therapy

Regenerative medicine is a burgeoning field that has piqued the interest of physicians and patients alike over the years. Part of the push for regenerative treatment options stems from the known limitations of corticosteroid injections. Steroid injections are an effective way to temporarily reduce pain due to inflammation, but rarely do steroid injections lead to a to cure for many common spinal, joint and tendon diseases. Also, there are some potential risks associated with steroid injections that doctors need to discuss with patients (e.g., blood sugar spikes in diabetics, worsening bone health in osteoporotic patients).

Regenerative injection therapy (RIT) refers to orthopedic procedures that stimulate the body’s natural healing processes to strengthen ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues that are weakened by traumatic or over-use injury. There are a variety of procedures or injectates (biologic and non-biologic) are thought to work by triggering a healing cascade within injured tissues to facilitate remodeling and repair.

  • Tenotomy
  • Prolotherapy
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
  • Stem cells (amniocyte/umbilical cord), bone marrow and adipose tissues)

When more traditional treatments (rest, medications, physical therapy, chiropractic, steroid injections) fail to heal an injured tissue, and surgery is either not an option or a patient opts to forego surgery, RIT may be considered as an alternative to treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal and soft tissue conditions.

  • Tendinopathies (elbow, knee, ankle, shoulder, hip)
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Hypermobile joints/ligaments (SI, ankle sprains, multidirectional instability of the shoulder) Joints
  • Joint osteoarthritis (knee, hip, shoulder, spinal facet joints)

With all the hype that regenerative injection treatments have received over the past decade we are still a long way off from finding a “Holy Grail” of regenerative treatment that is safe, cost-effective, and reproducible in large scale randomized controlled clinical trials. Therefore, patients should have realistic expectations with regards to whether a regenerative treatment may help a particular disease state. For example, severe, end-stage degenerative conditions (e.g., severe osteoarthritis) are typically not good candidates for these treatments.

The physicians at Buffalo Spine and Sports Medicine use several regenerative injection treatments in clinical practice. This includes

  • TenJet percutaneous tenotomies
  • Dextrose prolotherapy
  • Platelet-rich plasma
  • Allograft umbilical cord stem cells

We would be happy to discuss whether-or-not Regenerative injection treatment may be a good option for you.