Regenerative medicine refers to the use of the body’s own innate healing mechanisms to help a patient recover from injury and pain. It’s designed to boost someone’s own natural healing response and direct it to a specific area of the body. This can be accomplished using a few different techniques for regenerative medicine in our Asheville, NC, all of which can be completed right here in an hour or two. Dr. Pinkston can help determine which approach is best for you based on your situation.
A small sample of your blood is taken and it’s placed in a centrifuge and spun until it separates into distinctive layers. The PRP layer is rich in not only platelets, but other healing proteins and growth factors. Created right in our office, this substance can be injected wherever a patient needs.
Dr. Pinkston injects a solution that is a mixture of lidocaine and dextrose—the lidocaine numbs the area, and the dextrose irritates the soft tissues without harming them. This tells the body that something needs to be addressed in the area, which intentionally produces a temporary inflammatory cascade right where the injection is located, with the goal of speeding up the normal recovery processes.
Prolozone® involves the use of ozone, a gas, in place of or in addition to lidocaine and dextrose. Ozone can also initiate a small, controlled inflammatory process that sends a signal to the body to recruit cells that assist with healing. The ozone (O3) is believed to then dissociate to oxygen (O2) and serve to decrease oxidative stress in the area, which is often a source of pain and may impair the effectiveness of the body’s natural healing response. Prolozone® is used as a standalone treatment or to prepare the cellular environment prior to other regenerative procedures.
Mesenchymal stem cell containing tissue can be harvested from various sites of a patient’s body. Dr. Pinkston obtains these samples from a patient’s own adipose, or fatty, tissue and bone marrow. These biomaterials are then injected under ultrasound guidance into an identified defect. We are proud to offer these treatments for the management of our patients.
Even though it has been around for decades, regenerative medicine has only recently come into the public consciousness. As such, the average person likely has a lot of questions about it, and Dr. Pinkston and our team are happy to answer them. You’re always invited to give us a call or schedule a consultation to find out more about how these techniques can help you, but first, you can get some basic questions answered by reading our responses below.
No, you do not need a referral from your primary care physician in order to get regenerative medicine. Dr. Pinkston is a DO and board-certified in neuromusculoskeletal medicine, so you can just schedule an appointment with him directly. After performing a physical exam and asking about your goals, he can recommend which regenerative method (or methods) might benefit you the most.
This largely depends on how a patient responds to a certain type of injection (be it prolotherapy, PRP, or biologic cells) and the extent of their injury. Some patients respond very well to just one, while others may require multiple injections given weeks or months apart over the course of a year. When you come in for your consultation, Dr. Pinkston will be able to give you a much more detailed estimated timeline of your recovery.
The cost of treatment varies from procedure to procedure, and the amount/length of care can be different between patients as well. All cost information will be covered before you receive any care so you know what to expect. It’s important to note that because many parts of regenerative medicine are relatively new, most of our services are not covered by insurance.
The risks of regenerative medicine are relatively limited because in many cases, the therapeutic substance is harvested from the patient’s own body, so there is virtually no chance of complications. It doesn’t have the risk of dependence like pain medication, nor is it invasive like surgery. After an injection, some slight soreness, swelling, and bleeding are common, but these typically stem from the needle itself and go away on their own after a few days (or a week at most).
No. For biologic cell therapy, we harvest mesenchymal stem cell containing tissue from a patient’s body fat or bone marrow. We do not use donated stem cell containing tissue in our practice.