Interventional/ Regenerative Treatments
Interventional medicine takes full advantage of targeted treatments and multidisciplinary techniques to provide pain relief, while therapies used in regenerative medicine treat orthopedic injuries and disease by naturally stimulating new tissue growth.
Dr. Akash Bajaj specializes in interventional and regenerative orthopedics, offering patients cutting-edge therapies for alleviating their pain and healing faster than with traditional treatments. To learn whether you’re a good candidate for this innovative therapy, call the office in Marina Del Rey and Manhattan Beach, California, or book an appointment online.
What are Interventional and Regenerative Orthopedics?
Interventional medicine focuses on alleviating your pain using various techniques that directly target pain at its source. Joint injections and nerve blocks that interrupt pain signals are just two examples of the many options Dr. Bajaj may recommend. As a multidisciplinary practice, interventional medicine may also incorporate treatments such as physical therapy and regenerative medicine.
Regenerative medicine uses cells that are normally found in your body, where they restore and regenerate tissues. When these specialized cells, such as growth factors, human cell and tissue, and alpha-2-macroglobulin, are injected into injured musculoskeletal tissue, they may promote healing. Regenerative treatments are autologous, using components derived from your body.
Interventional and regenerative medicine offer advanced options for relieving pain and healing from orthopedic conditions. Schedule your treatment by calling Dr. Bajaj or booking an appointment online.
Interventional Treatment Options
Epidural injections, also known as corticosteroids, are anti-inflammatory medications that reduce inflammation in the epidural space around the nerve roots. These injections provide immediate but temporary relief for around three months. They’re suitable for patients suffering from pain due to compressed or pinched nerves, i.e., if the nerve roots in the spine are compressed due to bulging discs, bone spurs, herniation, or other factors. While epidural injections don’t provide permanent relief, they can often be paired with regenerative treatments, thereby combining short- and long-term relief.
Facet injections are medications that diagnose the affected facet joints responsible for the pain and provide immediate pain relief. They consist of a small amount of local anesthesia and a steroid, such as cortisone. When injected into the targeted facet joints, they reduce inflammation and alleviate the pain, providing instant relief. However, the injection also serves a diagnostic purpose — if the infection doesn’t work or works only partially, it indicates that the pain originates from another facet joint(s).
Radiofrequency ablation, also known as Rhizotomy, is often provided after identifying the problematic facet joints via the facet injections. As mentioned above, facet injections only provide temporary relief, but they identify the problematic facet joint responsible for the pain. As such, radiofrequency ablation is concentrated on the nerve roots surrounding the affected facet joint, dulling their ability to convey pain signals into the brain. As such, radiofrequency ablation blocks the pain signals, providing long-lasting relief.
Regenerative Treatment Options
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
Platelets are cells in your blood that contain special proteins called growth factors. When you’re injured, growth factors promote healing by triggering the growth of new cells to replace the damaged cells and rebuild tissues.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is blood plasma with a higher concentration of platelets than normal blood. It’s made from your own blood by drawing a sample, then centrifuging it to separate platelets from other blood components.
After producing your PRP, Dr. Bajaj injects it into injured or diseased musculoskeletal tissues, where it:
- Reduces inflammation and pain
- Heals and repairs tissues
- Triggers the production of blood vessels
- Triggers the production of tissues such as collagen, fat, muscle, and connective tissues
- Stimulates bone regeneration
- Recruits human cell and tissue to the damaged area
- Increases human cell and tissue effectiveness
Alpha-2 Macroglobulin (A2M) Therapy
Alpha-2-macroglobulin, or alpha-mac, is an enzyme in your blood that naturally inhibits inflammation. Alpha-mac is obtained the same way as PRP, from a sample of your blood that’s centrifuged to separate the enzymes. When alpha-mac is injected before PRP therapy, it stops inflammation, relieves pain, and promotes faster healing.
A2M is also considered one of the most groundbreaking discoveries in osteoarthritis treatment. Osteoarthritis occurs due to the natural age-related wear-and-tear of the cartilages that usually absorb shock, preventing friction when the joints rub against each other. When the cartilages gradually wear away due to injuries or age, the joints rub against each other and get damaged, leading to arthritic pains.
A2M is a broad-spectrum multi-purpose protease inhibitor that blocks the chemicals responsible for cartilage damage. A2M captures the enzymes that break down the cells making up the cartilage, thereby reducing inflammation and arthritic pains. This treatment is suitable for patients experiencing joint pains due to compromised cartilages.
Stem Cell Therapy
The stem cells found in the bone marrow activate healing in the injured bones, ligaments, tendons, and joints. If you’re suffering from spinal or joint pains, stem cell injections gradually grow new tissues and repair the damaged tissues, thereby reducing inflammation. Stem cell therapy also stimulates your body’s natural healing processes and restores the optimal range of motion.
Stem cell therapy is one of the most effective solutions for patients experiencing sports injuries, tendon injuries, painful joints, knee injuries, back injuries, hand injuries, bone fractures, cartilage damage, and inflamed joints. The procedure is fairly simple — adult stem cells are harvested from the bone marrow and injected into the target regions to facilitate healing. The entire healing process usually takes a few weeks or months because it relies on your body’s natural healing capabilities.