An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear can be a devastating injury, causing pain and weakness in the knee that forces you to sit out of your regular activities. If you’re considering surgery to repair your ACL tear but wonder if there are lower risk options for reducing pain and increasing function that actually heal the tissue rather than remove or reconstruct it, then regenerative medicine to might be right for you.
At Interventional Orthopedics of Washington, Dr. Silva treats musculoskeletal issues with an integrative and whole-body approach that emphasizes sustainable results that help patients overcome painful and debilitating conditions by treating the problem at its source and in a way that encourages long-term success.
As part of this approach, he’s had great success using the latest regenerative medicine therapies for musculoskeletal application, including platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cells, to help patients heal more quickly and naturally from ACL and Meniscus tears. These techniques are non-surgical, injection-based, and provide a stronger opportunity for a better long-term outcome than surgery or conservative care such as physical therapy alone.
If you’ve torn your ACL, take a look at how regenerative medicine can help.
The power of platelets
Your blood contains four ingredients:
- White blood cells
- Red blood cells
Your platelets are best known for clotting your blood, but they also play an invaluable role in the healing that takes place afterward. This is because your platelets contain growth factors, or proteins, that aid in healing by signaling your body to send in resources that regenerate and repair damaged tissue.
With PRP therapy, we draw a sample of your own blood and isolate the platelets in a centrifuge. We then mix the concentrate back in with your plasma and inject the solution into areas where your body can use some additional resources — in this case, your torn ACL.
When the platelets arrive at the site of your ACL tear, they release growth factors that call for more resources, including additional proteins and stem cells. In effect, we’re taking your own healing resources, concentrating them, and redirecting them to where you need them most.
The power of stem cells
Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells act as general contractors, taking charge of the healing process but they may also act as the building blocks upon which all other cells are formed. To do this, these multipotent stem cells have the incredible ability to transform into osteoblasts, chondrocytes, adipocytes, and fibroblasts.
As an adult, you still have stem cells throughout your body, namely in your bone marrow where all of your blood is manufactured. Your body relies on stem cells and cytokines to regenerate and repair tissue, but through stem cell therapy, we go straight to your bone marrow and concentrate this resource to speed up the healing in your torn ligament. When Dr. Silva injects the stem cells precisely into your damaged tissue, always using image guidance, they immediately set to work to repair the tissue.
The stem cell procedure that Dr. Silva administers for ACL tears was developed to treat full and partial anterior cruciate ligament tears non-surgically with injections into the site using a needle. With this technique, he can treat non-retracted full and partial tears in most cases.
One of the most beneficial aspects of regenerative medicine is that we’re using resources that are familiar to your body. When we redirect your own platelets and stem cells into your torn ACL, your body readily accepts the reinforcements and goes to work to begin the healing process.
In the long run, regenerative therapies will reduce inflammation and pain by strengthening the joint as a whole, which means you don’t have to rely on medications that simply mask the problem or resort to surgery. With less inflammation and pain, you can turn your attention to physical therapy to strengthen your knee, which speeds your recovery even more.
If you’d like to explore how regenerative medicine can help you, please give us a call. Or we invite you to use the online appointment request tool to set up a consultation with Dr. Silva.