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If you have chronic pain from osteoarthritis or a tendon, muscle, or ligament injury, regenerative medicine could be a treatment option for you.
Regenerative medicine includes proven, state-of-the-art treatments that use your own cells to help your body heal itself.
It includes a number of innovative therapies, including platelet-rich plasma (PRP), bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC), and microfragmented adipose tissue (MFAT).
University of Iowa Health Care sports medicine providers are pioneers in the field of regenerative medicine, are actively involved in research, and are one of the state's only evidence-based programs.
They lead the way in using these treatments to address pain and injuries in joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
Arthritis pain relief without surgery
Regenerative medicine may be your solution for pain relief if other approaches haven't worked.
It's also an option for many people who can't have—or don't want to have—joint replacement surgery. It's especially effective at treating arthritis in the knees, hips, and shoulders.
The field of regenerative medicine is new enough that studies are still underway about how long the effects last. Many people treated with regenerative medicine report improvements that last months to years.
Your UI Health Care team includes not only regenerative medicine experts, but also specialists in physical therapy and rehabilitation. They collaborate to build a customized treatment plan for you.
A national leader in regenerative medicine
UI Health Care offers one of the only evidence-based regenerative medicine programs in Iowa.
In evidence-based medicine, providers use the latest scientific research to choose the right approach for each patient.
Because our regenerative medicine team is part of a leading academic medical center, we can quickly adopt advances in this rapidly advancing field. In fact, we're helping to drive many of them.
Our team is part of several regenerative medicine research studies that measure factors such as outcomes and side effects. This helps your providers know exactly what type of regenerative medicine would be best for your condition.
Types of regenerative medicine treatments
UI Health Care offers the most advanced regenerative medicine treatments.
All approaches involve collecting your own cells and cellular components, concentrating them, and injecting them into the area where you have pain.
These cells work to reduce inflammation and repair damaged tissue.
Procedures take place in your provider's office. Depending on the treatment, a procedure takes about 30 to 90 minutes from start to finish.
Side effects are often mild. Most people experience some soreness for several days after their injections.
Many patients begin to feel improvement in about four to six weeks. And you'll feel the maximum benefit in three to six months.
Treatments we offer include:
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
A technician will take a small amount of your blood via a blood draw. They'll then put it into a centrifuge, a machine that separates out the platelets. The platelets are then injected into the area of injury or osteoarthritis. PRP is used mainly to treat mild to moderate osteoarthritis and ligament, tendon, or muscle injuries.
Microfragmented adipose tissue (MFAT)
This newer procedure uses fat cells from just below the surface of the skin on your abdomen, low back, or outer thigh. It's especially helpful when injected into arthritic joints and tendon injuries, where it cushions and supports damaged tissue and helps it heal.
Bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC)
A physician extracts a small amount of bone marrow from the back of your pelvis. BMAC treats moderate to severe osteoarthritis as well as injuries to tendons, muscles, and ligaments.
Regenerative medicine tests and treatments
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
- Microfragmented adipose tissue (MFAT)
- Bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC)
Regenerative medicine conditions treated
- Achilles’ tendinosis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Cartilage injuries
- Chronic joint pain
- Common extensor tendon (tennis elbow)
- Golfer’s elbow
- Herniated disc
- Labrum tear
- Ligament sprain or tear
- Meniscus tear
- Muscle strain
- Rotator cuff tendinitis or tear
- Tendon tear
Our Care Team
- Orthopedics and Rehabilitation
- Orthopedics and Rehabilitation