SWLA doctor says regenerative medicine healing patients, helping them avoid surgery

Updated: Aug. 8, 2019 at 5:05 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Regenerative medicine is the latest advancement in the orthopedic field.

It can be used for conditions such as arthritis or tendon disorders, and can even help patients avoid surgery.

Pat Scofield is one of those patients. She’s torn her meniscus in both knees, and had a partially torn rotator cuff.

“I’m also at a stage in my life where I cannot take the time to have a knee replacement," Scofield said. "The recovery from it.”

When she heard about regenerative medicine, she decided to look into it.

“They told me three to six months I should start seeing improvement," Scofield said. "But within two or three weeks I was feeling a lot better.”

Scofield is one of Steven Hale’s satisfied patients. Hale is an orthopedic surgeon at the Center for Orthopedics in Lake Charles.

“Over the last decade, things have advanced fairly rapidly in the orthopedic field, and one of those things that’s most exciting is this field of regenerative medicine,” Hale said.

Hale practices two forms of regenerative medicine: platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, and bone marrow aspirate concentrate, or BMAC.

Hale said that PRP requires drawing blood from a patient’s vein.

“That blood is then put into a centrifuge, which spins around rapidly, allows us to concentrate the platelets into the upper layer," Hale said. "The platelets hold a lot of growth factors or healing factors, we’re able to use that portion of the PRP to re-inject in different areas.”

BMAC is similar, but it requires the removal of bone marrow, and separates out stem cells to be re-injected.

BMAC does require that a patient be put under for the removal, where as PRP does not.

Hale said that the two treatments have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

That means insurance does not cover them, and they range from $1,000 to $4,000.

While they aren’t FDA approved, there are regulations the FDA has set, so Hale said it’s important to do your research before choosing where to get it done.

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