15 Oct The revolution in biological medicine. Dr. Karin Freitag, Master in Rheumatology
“Joints are designed to move, not to stand still,” says Dr. Freitag, but hitting the streets on heels or heavy bags as if there were no tomorrow, without proper preparation or stretching, or abusing of paddle sessions, for example, can have side effects as harmful as postures held for hours and hours in the office.
Giving up all this is not an option, and even less sport. It is part of our lives and we only “have to adapt the exercise to the age, the physical form and the complexion of each person”.
“The problems come when we overload the joints in non-physiological conditions and in a maintained way over time,” explains the doctor. Contractures and tendinitis are a first warning that something is wrong and knowing how to listen to the first alarm signals is fundamental to detect, prevent or correct major illnesses and future motor problems that compromise wellbeing, mobility and figure.
The bad news is that all “those bad habits to which we hardly pay attention accelerate the process of joint degeneration, originated by cellular oxidation, which begins at the age of 35. A surprisingly early age when joints, ligaments, tendons and bones begin to lose minerals, collagen, hyaluronic acid…”, worsened by statistics and studies confirming that women are more prone to knee arthrosis. The reason probably lies in the fact that this joint is especially altered by pregnancies and footwear.
The good news is that oral supplements, when prescribed by specialists, and walking half an hour a day help prevent and improve. In addition, regenerative medicine is providing surprising solutions to many of these previously chronic ailments.
A little over a decade ago, Dr. Freitag’s team began treating tendonitis with shock waves, an effective technique that, however, fell short in cases of major degeneration or partially ruptured tendons.
Trying to find more advanced solutions and searching within our own organism we find much more beneficial therapies for the improvement of these pathologies. Regenerative medicine, specifically the infiltration of growth factors obtained from the patient’s own blood, is a better alternative for repairing tendon lesions and improving cartilage.
An advanced therapy that represents an important step in this field with the application of growth factors specific to each tissue structure, whether they are tendons, cartilage or muscles; a much more precise therapy that theoretically promises spectacular results.
But there is still a step beyond and that is the great revolution of biological medicine with pluripotent stem cells. “It was believed that the marrow was the place where there was more, but it was discovered that it had much more potential in fat, and what appeared to be ‘waste material’ has proved to be most profitable.”
More than a year ago, Clínica DKF began treating knee arthrosis and tendon ruptures with stem cells, a procedure that helps form new cartilage and, as she assures, not only it is avoiding numerous knee surgeries but also allowing the patient to leave the clinic on their own foot in just two and a half to three hours.
The technique consists of extracting, once we sedate the patient in our operating room, fat from the hip or abdomen and, once the stem cells have been obtained through this extraction, their viability is verified, taking into account quality and quantity, and they are infiltrated guided by ultrasound in the area to be treated.
The treatment allows for a much quicker recovery, with less convalescence time, reducing inflammation and, therefore, the pain caused by the injury. In this way, the patient can quickly resume their daily activities and sports.
Furthermore, in order to prevent this ailment, if lifestyle is a determining factor, genetics also conditions the evolution of our joints. And in this field, we can know our joints future with a simple genetic test. It is not science fiction, it is a reality in Clínica DKF, with just a sample of saliva the “Arthotest” allows to analyse the genes to detect if there is any predisposition to suffer a knee osteoarthritis of rapid evolution, pathology that usually derives in the implantation of the prosthesis. And not only that, but it also makes it possible to determine which is the ideal treatment in each case.
The medicine of the future is already here.