CONSIDERATIONS FOR FINDING A REGENERATIVE MEDICINE PRACTITIONER

SEEING A PHYSICIAN THAT IS DEDICATED TO REGENERATIVE ORTHOPEDICS?

Many physicians are starting to see how effective Regenerative Medicine treatments can be for treating joint pain and preventing surgery. However, not all physicians offering these services are created equal.

A large percentage of these physicians are family medicine doctors, burned out emergency medicine physicians, etc.. Many of them offer regenerative medicine services to make a “quick buck” and therefore do not spend extra time educating themselves on when these therapies are indicated.

Instead, they market it as a “cure all” which is simply not the case.

You want to see a physician who has a dedicated Sports Medicine Practice and knows how to take a good history, know how to do the proper physical exams, know what imaging is best for the injury, and understand the complete picture of the injury.

 

SEEING A HEALTHCARE PROVIDER THAT UNDERSTANDS THE OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO THE PATIENT.

This can be a tough one. Physicians tend to suffer from the “Law of the Instrument.”

Meaning “If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

So most chiropractors believe adjustments will fix everything, surgeons do the same with surgery, and yes, Regenerative Medicine Doctors can do the same with Regenerative Medicine.

So how do you avoid seeing someone who believes everything is a nail? Well, you having a basic understanding of the complete picture of joint pain can help. 

Otherwise, the best questions to ask are “Do they ever refer patients if the patient doesn’t fit the therapy?” or “Do they work with other healthcare professionals to resolve an injury?”

When it comes to treatment options, there are a number available to the patient. From conservative treatment such as rest, physical therapy, or medication to more interventional injection therapies, all the way to surgery.

It is the Regenerative Medicine Physician’s job to understand when each one should be used and how well each one will work.

 

KNOWING WHICH INJECTION THERAPY TO USE

This is similar to #2 but is still extremely important and deserves to be mentioned. When it comes to Regenerative Medicine, there are a number of therapies that fall under this category. You ideally want to see someone who is trained in more than one therapy as they all have different uses.

There are times when a combination of therapies makes the most sense to ensure the desired results. The physician should be able to clearly explain to you when that is needed and why they are needed.

The biggest thing to avoid is seeing someone who ONLY uses Amniotic, Placental, or Umbilical Cord “Stem Cells.” The reason is that they are likely someone who legally can not do Regenerative Medicine Injections, so they hire a nurse or PA to do it. 

Stem Cells are not a cure-all, so steer clear from anyone claiming they are.

 

PERFORMING IMAGE GUIDED INJECTIONS

If a GOOD physician is performing PRP or Stem Cell therapy they are doing so under ultrasound or fluoroscopy. These tools allow for accurate placement of the injection.

To show you how big of a difference it makes…studies have been performed testing the accuracy of highly trained physicians. The physicians had a 40% accuracy when doing a “blind injection” on the AC joint compared to a 100% accuracy with ultrasound guidance.

Now the AC joint is easy to feel on most people, image how much that 40% drops when you are getting a structure treated that you can’t feel.

If you are paying for Regenerative Medicine treatments would you want it to be less than a 40% accurate? I didn’t think so. Go to someone who can guarantee accuracy by using image guidance.  

 

ENHANCING YOUR RECOVERY

Your Regenerative Medicine Treatment should not stop after the treatment itself. A good physician will make sure you increase your body’s healing capacity by giving Excellent After-Care Instructions.

These instructions should include detailed steps of what the next few weeks will look like, if you require a brace or additional therapies, and things you can do to support your body’s healing. 

We have seen a number of patients who were told they no longer needed to come in immediately after their treatment. Stay away from these places, as they are not ensuring good care.  

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