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Regenerative Therapies

What is it?

Regenerative medicine is the process of replacing or regenerating cells, tissues or organs to restore or establish normal function. This field holds the promise of regenerating damaged tissues and organs in the body by replacing damaged tissue and/or by stimulating the body's own repair mechanisms to heal previously irreparable tissues or organs.

 

Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC)

Bone marrow, which contains stem cells, fibrin, granulocytes, monocytes, neutrophils, and growth factors, is aspirated from the patient's sternum or the point of its hip and immediately injected into the site of the injury. Fewer stem cells are present in bone marrow (0.01% than in fat tissue (43%), but the growth factors and other nutrient cells present in bone marrow may work together to enhance healing. Recent technology has enabled bone-marrow aspirate to be significantly concentrated before it is injected into damaged tissue. Studies have shown that BMAC cells are extremely effective at stimulating the growth of vasculature and bone cells. In addition the centrifugation technique is particularly important. The more cells which are injected, the better the clinical outcomes.

 

Platelet Rich Plasma

Platelets in blood contain growth factors that stimulate cells in injured tissue to begin healing and draw new cells into the injured area. Blood is drawn from the patient and centrifuged to separate the white and red blood cells for removal and to concentrate the platelets in the plasma to five times that of whole blood. The gel is then injected at the site of the injury. Injection of PRP is recommended for both recent tendon and ligament injuries and those injuries that have not healed using traditional rest and controlled exercise. Plasma containing this concentrated level of platelets provides an abundance of growth factors, which are the proteins in the body that stimulate cells in the tendon or ligament to start the healing process. When PRP is injected into damaged tendon or ligament, cells in the tissue along with new cells circulating in the blood are stimulated to reproduce new cells at the site of injury. These healing cells work to increase the formation of new blood vessels and connective tissue, all of which encourages natural repair of the injury. Ligaments, in particular, can degenerate over time and, in some cases, the normal healing and remodeling process does not reach an adequate level. PRP is used to help initiate cell response, so that the normal healing process is stimulated and can proceed. As such, a PRP treatment can be particularly helpful in cases where the healing process has stalled. This treatment helps assure that the injury is completely healed and that the risk of re-injury is lessened. PRP can be used as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with other therapies, including stem cell treatments and surgery.

 

A recent study with PRP demonstrated that Horses showed a marked improvement in their degree of lameness and 84.6% were able to return to competition after PRP treatment. Among all the factors studied, the platelet concentration predicted the healing time: significantly faster recovery (p = 0.049) was observed in cases of PRP with more than 750 × 103/μl platelets.

 

How we use the product

On the day of the procedure, horses are sedated and citrated blood and sternal bone marrow are collected for harvest of PRP and BMAC using a commercial system (SmartPReP®2, Harvest Technologies, Plymouth, MA).

 

We feel it is important to use this commerical system, as it has provided reproducible results versus the inconsistancy of non commercial systems.

 

Where we use the product
As highlighted by a recent report in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, the BMAC graft shows promise in enhancing cartilage defects.

 

For further information, please contact the hospital.

 

 

 

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