What are Growth Factors?
A growth factor is a naturally occurring substance capable of stimulating cell proliferation, wound healing, and occasionally cellular differentiation. Usually it is a secreted protein or a steroid hormone. Growth factors are important for regulating a variety of cellular processes.
In articular cartilage, numerous growth factors work in concert to regulate development and homeostasis of articular cartilage throughout life. Therefore, growth factors offer promising treatments for enhanced regeneration of cartilage in focal articular cartilage defects or in situations of more widespread cartilage loss such as those which occur in osteoarthritis (OA). When considering an injured or osteoarthritic joint, the effects of any treatment such as growth factors on the cartilage, synovial lining, ligaments, tendons, meniscus, any exposed subchondral bone as well as on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) which gain access to the articular environment should be collectively considered.
Growth factors typically act as signaling molecules between cells. Examples are cytokines and hormones that bind to specific receptors on the surface of their target cells.
They often promote cell differentiation and maturation, which varies between growth factors. For example, epidermal growth factor (EGF) enhances osteogenic differentiation.
Osteoarthritis causes pain, activity limitation, physical disability and reduced health-related quality of life. This pain is usually treated with over-the-counter pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, local steroid injections and sometimes surgery. There are currently no drugs approved to treat the underlying cause of the condition, which results from the breakdown of joint cartilage covering the long bones due to increasing age, injury/overuse, obesity, genetics and/or local inflammation.
Growth Factor therapy can help prevent a worsening of osteoarthritis by increasing the thickness of cartilage in the affected joint and preventing further loss, according to results from an early clinical trial that were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
- Powerful Treatment: Helps to relieve pain associated with joints, soft tissue and spinal injuries.
- Minimally Invasive: 15-minute in office, single injection.
- Alternative to Surgery:
- Quick & Reduced Recovery Time: Return to everyday, low impact activities.
- Safe, Non-steroidal: Helps recruit your body’s natural healing components including stem cells and growth factors to reconstruct and regenerate the injured tissues which are causing pain.
How does amniotic fluid injections work?
Amniotic Fluid takes advantage of the body’s ability to repair itself. With an amniotic fluid injection, your physician injects the amniotic fluid from donated amniotic tissue into your body. The amniotic fluid limits the expression of inflammatory cytokines and contains large amounts of hyaluronic acid that entrap inflammatory cells. Amniotic fluid goes far beyond the benefits of standard “injection therapy.”
While cortisone and other drugs only provide temporary pain relief, amniotic fluid helps modulate healing by promoting reconstruction rather than scar tissue formation. The growth factors in the amniotic fluid may recruit your body’s own stem cells, directly mitigating the repair and regeneration of healthy tissue. Additionally, amniotic fluid injections contain hyaluronic acid, helping to lubricate joints and tendons, easing the pain and helping restore mobility.
Are StemX regenerative therapies covered by insurance?
Amniotic fluid injections may be covered by Medicare, Tricare, Blue Cross and other insurances. Please contact our office at (760) 810-4104 for your complimentary benefits review to determine your specific coverage.
- Body Conditions
- Wrist and Hand
- Foot and Ankle
All regenerative medicine procedures performed at StemX by Spark are performed using an Amniotic Tissue injection which is Regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration as Human Cells, Tissues, Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (HCT/P's) under Section 361.decision.
This healthcare practitioner performs one or more stem cell therapies that have not yet been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. You are encouraged to consult with your primary care physician prior to undergoing a regenerative therapy.