Disc herniation is one of the most common spine conditions. About 10% of patients with a herniated disc will require surgery. That means the vast majority of those suffering from this debilitating condition can find the relief they seek with nonsurgical treatment methods.
Regenerative medicine is a cutting-edge field that uses the body’s own mechanisms to repair tissue and heal injuries. It can help patients with disc herniation by relieving pain and promoting healing.
Regenerative Medicine and Its Success Rate
Regenerative medicine is still at the forefront of medical research. But it is promising as a treatment for disc herniation and other spine conditions.
Here are the two most common procedures under regenerative medicine:
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
PRP works by stimulating tissue regeneration at the site of an injury, which has the effect of reducing inflammation and relieving pain. PRP uses a concentration of platelets and growth factors taken from a sample of your own blood. Doctors have been using PRP to treat various orthopedic conditions, including disc herniation, for many years.
The success rate of PRP therapy for disc herniation is still under research, but initial studies are promising. About 50% of patients who received PRP therapy for disc herniation reported pain relief. About 30% reported an improvement in mobility.
How Doctors Perform PRP Therapy
PRP therapy is a relatively simple minimally invasive procedure. First, your doctor will draw a small amount of blood from your arm. The blood will be placed in a centrifuge, which spins it to separate the platelets from the other blood cells. These platelets are full of growth factors, which stimulate tissue turnover at a cellular level.
Your doctor will take this concentrated platelet substance and inject it into the area around your herniated disc. The process usually takes less than 30 minutes, and you can typically go about your usual activities afterward.
Most patients report pain relief within a few weeks of treatment. But you may not see the full effects of PRP therapy until after several months, once the new, healthy tissue has developed and replaced the damaged tissue at the site of your herniated disc.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy is another promising regenerative medicine treatment for disc herniation. It also reduces inflammation and pain and promotes healing by boosting cellular turnover, and ultimately replacing damaged tissue. It is a more advanced procedure than PRP and can offer a stronger boost than PRP. It does everything PRP does, with the added benefit of introducing “blank-slate” stem cells to the target area, which transform themselves into healthy new tissue at the site of an injury.
Stem cells are the body’s raw material cells. These cells are located throughout the body and are most plentiful in the bone marrow. Stem cells have the unique ability to develop into other types of cells in the body. This makes stem cells ideal for treating disc herniation and many other orthopedic conditions.
Research continues as to the success rate of stem cell therapy in various orthopedic uses, including disc herniation. Recent studies have found that nearly 70% of patients who received stem cell therapy reported the procedure as successful at relieving their herniated disc symptoms.
How Doctors Perform Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cell therapy is similar to PRP therapy. First, your doctor will draw a blood or bone marrow sample from your arm or hip, respectively. The stem cells will then be separated from the other cells in the sample.
Your doctor will inject the stem cells into the area around your herniated disc. The procedure usually lasts less than an hour, and you are typically free to resume your usual daily activities.
Like PRP therapy, most patients report pain relief within a few weeks of treatment. But it may take several months to see the full effects of stem cell therapy.
Choosing a Regenerative Medicine Procedure
There are many factors to consider when choosing a regenerative medicine procedure. These include your overall health, the severity of your disc herniation, and your treatment goals.
Your orthopedic spine surgeon can help you choose the best regenerative medicine procedure for you – as well as develop a customized treatment plan to maximize your chances of success.
Talk to your orthopedic doctor about the risks and benefits of using regenerative medicine for disc herniation, and whether the procedure is right for you. Not everyone is a good candidate for regenerative medicine – and some patients may need surgery if the disc herniation is severe or when previous nonsurgical treatments failed to relieve symptoms.
Herniated Disc Treatment in Rochester Hills, MI
Regenerative medicine is a new and promising field that offers hope for patients with debilitating conditions like disc herniation.
PRP and stem cell therapy are the two most common types of regenerative medicine. Both have apparently high success rates in reducing pain and promoting healing. If you are considering regenerative medicine for your disc herniation, talk to your doctor about which type of treatment best fits your situation.
Are you looking for herniated disc treatment in Rochester Hills, Bad Axe, or Royal Oak, Michigan? You can trust Ahlgren Spine Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Bradley Ahlgren is an experienced and compassionate spinal surgeon who can provide the very best care for you, whether that’s surgical or nonsurgical treatments, like regenerative medicine.
Call the friendly staff at Ahlgren Spine Orthopaedic Surgery at (248) 215-8080 to discover how we can help you. You may also use our secure online appointment request form to schedule a consultation with the best spine surgeon near you.
We look forward to serving you!