A lot of our patients who suffer from chronic pain have asked us about Biological Allografts for treatment. In today’s article we will take a look at the benefits of biological allograft, and how it works to heal.
Using biological allograft to heal is a form of regenerative medicine. It works on the basis that human placenta has all the cells needed to help patients with a range of medical problems.
When first developed, doctors used the technique to help patients with skin conditions like diabetic ulcers, burns, and wounds. But, in recent times, biological allografts are being used to treat arthritis and joint pain.
Understanding Biological Allografts
Allografting means harvesting cells from tissues that are similar to human tissues and using them to treat injuries.
Research has found that maternal cells from the placenta are rich in growth factors, hyaluronic acid, proteins, and collagen. After delivery, doctors harvest cells from the umbilical cord, amniotic fluid, amniotic sac, and placental tissues.
When combined with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) created from the patient’s blood, these placental cells can set off a powerful healing reaction. Doctors are now injecting the resultant serum into joints affected by arthritis so patients can have a better quality of life.
Why Biological Allografts are More Effective than Conventional Medicine
While conventional medicine like steroids, anti-inflammatory medicines, and surgery can cause side effects, biological allografts are a safer option.
- When doctors use placental cells to help patients, there is no possibility of allergic reactions. During gestation, the placenta prevents direct contact between the mother and baby’s blood supply. As a result, the baby remains protected from the mother’s immunological responses. The maternal tissues don’t recognize the fetus as a threat and continue to nourish and support its development.
- When placental cells enter the treatment site, they act like a biological scaffold that tissues use to repair and regenerate. As the swelling in the tissues starts to go down, patients have better ease of mobility and also feel the pain lessening.
- A single injection can relieve symptoms for at least 12 months.
- Using cells from donor tissues eliminates the problem of healing not just at the treatment site, but also at the harvest site if the patient’s own cells are being used.
Results to Expect from a Biological Allograft Procedure
Right after the allograft procedure, doctors will advise you to ice the area and take basic over-the-counter pain medication. You may also be asked to perform gentle exercises to encourage blood circulation and improve range of movement. For a week or so, you may have some amount of soreness but expect to see results like pain relief starting at 2 weeks from the injection. That’s the time, cells take to rebuild and for the inflammation to heal. Over the next four to eight weeks, you’ll sense a steady improvement in movement and find it easier to go about your regular activities. Most patients are happy with the effects of the treatment, but depending on the extent of the damage, you might need follow-up care. If you do, the doctor may administer a PRP injection to help with the healing.
Biological allograft is a highly innovative option for helping patients and the entire scope of its positives are still under research.