DataBiologics recently released its second annual “Regenerative Orthopedic Patient Outcomes Report.” The report highlights the outcomes of various orthobiologic treatments from members of the Databiologic database registry. And this year’s findings are particularly noteworthy.
For those unfamiliar, DataBiologics helps physicians collect and analyze patient data to measure the efficacy of orthobiologic procedures. An orthobiologic treatment, or as we call it, “Interventional Orthopedic and Orthobiologic Medicine,” (also known as Regenerative Medicine) is an innovative treatment option that uses a patient’s own healthy tissue cells as a source for medical treatments and therapies to other parts of the body. Primarily, these treatments are used for patients seeking relief from common orthopedic conditions, such as osteoarthritis in knees and other joints.
Each year, the goal of this study is to track patient demographics, diagnosis, treatment details, efficacy, and safety outcomes. The 2022 report included 107 providers in 56 clinics throughout 24 states. At the end, there were a total of 7,653 patient cases, with a 54% female, 46% male breakdown. The average age of the patient was 54 and the average BMI, 26.8.
What’s Different in 2022?
While there were many interesting results detailed in the 2022 report, the one that stood out most predominantly was that adipose (aka stem cell) was more effective than both bone marrow and PRP for reducing patient pain stemming from knee osteoarthritis. Although we are not surprised at the effectiveness of adipose (we use it regularly in the office), PRP has historically been a more commonly used treatment. And in last year’s report, it scored slightly higher than adipose treatments.
In our blog How Effective are PRP and Adipose Therapies?, we talked about the 2021 Report, where data was voluntarily collected from 3,275 patients. It showed that 73% of patients experienced meaningful reduction in pain after twelve months, with adipose showing just below that percentage at 70%. The most commonly treated body parts were knees and shoulders, and the most common procedures used were PRP (64%) and Adipose (17%).
With knee osteoarthritis as one of the most commonly treated orthopedic conditions, the 2022 report looked at the potential effectiveness of adipose tissue treatments, bone marrow (BMAC) treatments, and PRP treatments. Here are the findings.
Adipose Tissue Treatment
With this type of therapy, powerful injections are used with adipose (fatty) tissue grafts from your body that are rich in healthy stem cells. According to the report, with regard to adipose treatments, “Recent studies have shown great potential to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as support the native cartilage tissue in patients with knee osteoarthritis.”
The report showed a 56% average decrease in patient-reported pain at 12+ months post treatment for knee osteoarthritis.
Bone Marrow Treatment
With this treatment, bone marrow is obtained from the back of the pelvis area, as regenerative cells from the bone marrow are capable of replicating into various types of tissue. Bone marrow has been proven effective in treating osteoarthritis and cartilage injuries.
With respect to this treatment, the report noted, “This concentrate contains various cells and proteins which modulate pain and inflammation and can facilitate tissue healing such as tendon, cartilage and bone repair.”
The report showed a 48% average decrease in patient-reported pain at 12+ months post treatment for knee osteoarthritis.
Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a procedure that uses a patient’s own blood to regulate inflammation, stimulate repair, and promote remodeling of damaged tissues. PRP has been shown in research to help chronic joint pain and instability, degenerative osteoarthritis in joints, sprains, strains, and other sports injuries, meniscal tears, rotator cuff tears, calcific tendinosis, chronic tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, dry-eye syndrome, men’s health, and hair loss.
The report noted, “By utilizing the increased concentration of growth factors present in PRP, studies show we can stimulate healing in tendons, ligaments and bone as well as promote the growth of new blood vessels essential for health.”
At the same 12+ months post treatment for knee osteoarthritis, the report found a 43% average decrease in patient reported pain.
These findings warrant continued attention. While each treatment is clearly effective in reducing patient reported pain, more patients may now consider adipose treatment over PRP or bone marrow.
At NW Regen, we have a deep foundational understanding of both Interventional Orthopedic and Orthobiologic Medicine and overall health. Our goal is to provide the best, most informed options and advice to treat not merely symptoms, but the root causes of the underlying problems. Having the ability to effectively perform effective, non-surgical treatments is a significant part of our tailored approach to healthy, whole-body healing.
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Dr. Ryan Wood is a licensed Naturopathic and Chiropractic physician focusing on interventional orthopedic and orthobiologic medicine and injection therapies as well as general musculoskeletal and non-surgical orthopedic medicine.
With almost two decades of orthopedic practice across multiple disciplines, he has the necessary experience to ensure proper diagnoses and management of complex cases.