Regenerative Medicine May Be Your Treatment Solution for Tendon Tears

Tendons, the soft tissues that connect your joints and muscles, can tear or rupture with a sudden wrenching movement, such as in a sports injury, auto accident, or fall. Whether you have a partial tear or a complete rupture, you know the pain is intense and makes it hard or impossible to function normally.

When physical therapy and surgery are not helping, or are not options, Reno’s Dr. Lloyd Decker, DC offers an alternative solution — regenerative medicine.

Is my torn tendon repairable?

If you have a torn tendon, you’re not alone. More than three million people suffer from injured tendons every year around the world. The problem is that tendons don’t repair themselves very well. That’s why it’s important to discuss all your treatment options with your doctor.

If left untreated or not treated properly, the resulting imbalance between your mobility and stability may cause you to use your joint abnormally. This may lead to damage of other tissues in the joint or surrounding area, increased pain and swelling, and even early onset osteoarthritis from lack of connective tissue. If you want the best chance at a full recovery and would rather avoid surgery and long-term medications, regenerative medicine may be the answer.

What is regenerative medicine?

Regenerative medicine is a way to prompt damaged tissues to heal without drugs or surgery. The process starts with mesenchymal stem cells, which are harvested from umbilical cord tissue donated by full-term new mothers with their consent.

Mesenchymal stem cells are the body’s super cells. Whereas most cells have a specific job and only work in certain parts of the body, stem cells can morph into other types of cells and multiply, which means they can become tendon tissue and thereby heal your torn tendon.

Why is regenerative medicine best for tendon tears?

Tendons are notoriously slow healers, because unlike muscles, tendons have a limited blood and nerve supply to nourish them. That’s also why they often never regain their full pre-injury function. Traditionally, doctors treated tendon tears by using medications to manage pain and swelling, or by removing the damaged tissue surgically. In both these treatment options, the results are usually less than satisfactory. Most patients experience long-term joint stiffness, decreased range of motion, and even re-injury.

Regenerative medicine is different. When Dr. Decker injects the mesenchymal stem cells into the injured area, the cells penetrate your torn tendon and get to know the environment. Once they identify the tissue in the surrounding area, they transform into the proper type of cell, in this case, tenocytes, the most common cells in tendons. Then they trigger the healing process.

Your own cells start to multiply and repair your tendon naturally. Although total healing time may take several weeks, it’s much shorter than with more conventional treatments, and the results are more complete. With no incision and no scar tissue, your tendon can make a full recovery and be as good as new.

If you would like to learn more about regenerative medicine and whether you might be a good candidate, call us at Reno Regenerative Medicine today, or request an appointment online.

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