Your Regenerative Medicine Questions Answered

Dr. Kevin Witte, board-certified, sports medicine orthopedic surgeon with Sano Orthopedics, answers common questions about Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Witte has a fellowship from Andrews Research & Education Institute and an MBA in Healthcare Leadership from Rockhurst University. He has been practicing regenerative medicine since 2014.

What is Regenerative Medicine?

Regenerative medicine, also known as orthobiologics, is the use of natural cells, tissue, blood components, and growth factors that are harnessed to aid in the treatment of orthopedic injuries or conditions. It is used to replace lost tissue, enhance healing, stimulate regeneration, reduce pain and inflammation. It can be used to treat articular cartilage injuries, osteoarthritis, ligament and tendon injuries.

What types of regenerative medicine is done at Sano Orthopedics?

We have 2 therapies: Platelet-Rich Plasma and Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate.
Platelet-Rich Plasma, more commonly known as PRP, concentrates the patient’s own blood to create a high volume of platelets. This is injected into the injured joint or tendon. Typically, this is administered in our office, but it can be added to surgery to enhance healing.

Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate, or BMAC or BMC, concentrates the patient’s own bone marrow to produce a concentration rich in growth factors and stem cells. This is injected to injured body part to stimulate regeneration and repair. This is more often performed as an adjunct to surgery, but the procedure can also be administered in the office.

Why are patient’s seeking regenerative medicine?

PRP and BMAC utilize the body’s own cells to heal. It is low risk and a conservative treatment option for many. Research pursues and tracks outcomes to determine when regenerative medicine makes sense.

As patient interest in orthobiologics continues to grow, Sano Orthopedics will educate patients, lead innovation and utilize these therapies when it’s a viable treatment option. Regenerative medicine has the ability to enhance healing. It’s knowing the right injury and patient to consider regenerative medicine treatments.

Does insurance cover it?

Due to the fact that large, long term studies are not yet available and because results have been variable, insurance does not cover regenerative medicine treatments.  We want to make PRP and BMAC accessible to patients when appropriate and offers competitive market pricing. For instance, PRP in the elbow costs $650 for the office procedure.

What is the orthopedic surgeon’s role in regenerative medicine?

Orthopedic surgeons should lead the way in emerging biologics. We should educate patients on the benefits and risks of these therapies and protect patients from misuse. It’s our responsibility to continue to research the most effective treatments, options and protocols for regenerative medicine. I’m excited about the progress the orthopedics has made and the results I have seen in my clinic.

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