Rejuvenation means boosting the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Regenerative medicine holds the promise of definitive, affordable health care solutions that heal the body from within. At the Barr Center we believe that under the right set of conditions the body has the capacity to heal itself. regenerative therapies are a set of tools that we can use to reduce inflammation and facilitate healing in injured and degenerated joints, tendons and ligaments.
Treatment and Diagnosis
Regenerative Medicine treatments involve injecting mostly autologous growth factors that signal certain healing cellular processes in the tissues. In 90 + % of our patients we support the use of PRP (platelet rich plasma) and BMAC ( Bone marrow aspirate concentrate) over the use of commercially available amniotic stem cell like products as the studies and our many years of experience have demonstrated great effectiveness in many conditions. We believe that in most cases when considering Regenerative Medicine options using your own blood products are safer and more cost effective. There are some exceptions to this and we will certainly be happy to help you explore the best options for your unique set of conditions.
So what is all of the fuss about? According to the Mayo Clinic- “Regenerative medicine is a game-changing area of medicine with the potential to fully heal damaged tissues and organs, offering solutions and hope for people who have conditions that today are beyond repair.”
While regenerative medicine itself isn’t new, the applications of these therapies in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders is evolving quickly. The central idea behind regenerative medicine is to use your own cells and growth factors to amplify your healing response. Bone marrow and solid-organ transplants were done decades ago and now advances in cell biology and immunology are unlocking new opportunities in the field of regenerative medicine.
Regenerative Medicine is a Non-Surgical Treatment
There are few effective non-surgical ways to treat the root causes of many degenerative conditions and injuries. In many cases, clinicians can only manage patients’ symptoms using medications, surgery or devices. Regenerative therapies target signaling proteins in your blood and tissues that reduce inflammation and pain thereby allowing you to then enter a therapy program to optimize function.
Since these regenerative methods are relatively new, most are not covered by Medicare or other Health Insurance plans. As such, if this approach is best for you, we will discuss your most cost effective options and make sure you understand what is involved. You will be required to sign a Advanced Beneficiary Notice (ABN) which certifies that you are aware that this is a non-covered service. The reason that regenerative medicine services are not covered at this time is that there are few double blind placebo controlled studies that have been performed to date. Because of this lack of ‘evidence’ Medicare considers these modalities as ‘experimental’. Medicare does however have PRP on it’s ‘radar screen’ and is now tracking the utilization of PRP in various conditions. We have no idea when they will decide to cover it or for what condition.
Thus far, the majority of research has been conducted on arthritis of the knee, tennis elbow and achilles tendon tears. At the Barr Center, we are on the ‘cutting edge’ of all regenerative therapies and monitor the clinical studies on regenerative therapies very closely.
Regenerative Medicine Pioneer – Lisa Barr, MD
Dr. Barr and her staff have been at the forefront of regenerative medicine. She was the first physician to implement PRP, bone marrow-derived stem cells and fat grafting into practice in Hampton Roads over 20 years ago. She has successfully treated many patients, including professional golfers, with a variety of regenerative therapies for spinal, joint and tendon issues. Dr. Barr monitors the latest advances in regenerative medicine by regularly attending international conferences on Regenerative Medicine, and she enjoys bringing back to our area the newest proven technologies. To complement her experience in regenerative medicine, she has advanced training in musculoskeletal ultrasound and interventional spinal injections. This is a key component to our success since these are mostly non-surgical treatments and the key to maximizing treatment outcomes for any regenerative therapy is optimal needle placement.
Regenerative Medicine is ever-expanding. New concepts of managing inflammation and promoting tissue healing are being developed. Once we determine the best treatment option for you, be it PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma), Prolotherapy, Bone marrow concentrate, fat grafting, amniotic stem cells or a combination of modalities, we can perform the procedure in our office on the same day. The injections are performed using a small needle, cold spray and local anesthesia. To ensure optimal needle placement and maximize treatment outcomes, all regenerative therapies are performed at the Barr Center under image guidance using either ultrasound or x-ray. The entire process can take as little as 60 minutes. Within several days of undergoing most regenerative therapies, you can return to normal activities within 4-7 days.
Tendonitis (gluteal, hamstring and iliopsoas tendonitis of the hip, Patellar and quadriceps tendonitis of the knee, Achilles tendonitis and tendonitis of the ankle, rotator cuff and biceps tendonitis of the shoulder, tennis and golfer’s elbow)
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