We want to offer our patients the best chance of making an optimal recovery following an injury or to minimize progression of degenerative conditions affecting their spine and other joints, muscles, and connective tissues. Advancements in regenerative medicine are helping us do so. For the right patient, the process of repair and recovery can be accelerated with a unique type of regenerative treatment. The amniotic membrane and fluid that surrounds a baby is normally discarded after delivery, but it can be safely collected and preserved for medical use. Donated from carefully vetted and screened women undergoing cesarean section, amniotic tissues can offer significant benefits for a range of conditions from healing of burns and diabetic ulcers, to tendon repair, joint injuries and degeneration, as well as painful spine-related conditions. Dr. Saeger has recently collaborated in related clinical research.
Although clinical use has accelerated in recent years, the first reported use of amniotic tissue for orthopedic conditions dates back to 1927. Scientific understanding about this fascinating tissue and fluid has progressed dramatically since then. Amniotic tissue and fluid surround the fetus during pregnancy, providing both protection and nourishment for the developing baby, comprising a rich “soup” of proteins, peptides, carbohydrates, amino acids, enzymes and hormones that can inhibit inflammation and scarring, expedite recovery from effects of injury, and stimulate regenerative processes. Precision-targeted injections of amniotic fluid offer a safe and effective an alternative to traditional steroid-based injections, without their related side effects, and the likelihood of more significant and durable benefit.
Recent publications have demonstrated the ability of amniotic tissues to:
- Stimulate new cell growth
- Inhibit fibrotic tissue formation
- Reduce inflammation
- Create stronger connections between cells
- Repair damaged cartilage
- Prevent tendon adhesion
- Provide antimicrobial benefits
Unfortunately, many insurances do not cover these procedures. This is not uncommon, as new products and new procedures often take years before insurance companies no longer deem them “experimental” or “investigational.” We can provide further details about the potential cost, and available options and alternatives. The results with amniotic fluid products have been so compelling that, as a recipient of an amniotic fluid injection himself for symptoms related to a herniated disc, one of our surgical colleagues feels ethically compelled to offer the treatment to his patients. “I tried many of the available options including physical therapy, cortisone, Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. But a month afteran amniotic fluid injection, I felt as if decades of problems had been eliminated. This injection has given me a whole new perspective on care of my own patients,” said this orthopedic surgeon. If you are interested in learning more about how we use precision image-guided amniotic fluid injections, and in whom we use it please reach out to our team for further information.