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Growth factors

Dr. Saura explains us what are infiltrations with plasma rich in growth factors. A revolutionary technique in the treatment of injuries and joint regeneration.

What are the growth factors?

They are substances, in this case proteins, that are found in the bloodstream as part of the serum, and contribute to the regeneration of degenerated or damaged acute or chronic tissues; so that those tissues with more abundance of blood supply (muscle, skin, liver) do so much more quickly than others such as tendons or nervous system where the blood supply is much lower or, as in the case of articular cartilage, is practically null and it is nourished basically of the synovial liquid.

How do they work?

Broadly speaking, they work by stimulating the cells of the different tissues of the body to reproduce and form healthy tissue in damaged areas, for whatever reason. This process, which by itself has a more or less long duration according to the tissue, is accelerated by adding the extra concentrate of growth factors extracted from the blood serum.

What is the extraction method?

It is done in the operating room, on an outpatient basis, with sterile materials and methods. Venous blood is drawn, approximately 10cc; usually from a superior member, with a special double-walled syringe. The extracted blood is introduced into a test tube and this into a centrifugal machine. The centrifugation lasts 15 minutes. Once the blood is centrifuged, the red and white blood cells remain at the bottom of the tube, and the serum, which contains the factors, is above. This allows to extract it with the syringe, and have it ready to be infiltrated in joints as well as in tendinous tissues, skin areas, etc.

What application do they have in orthopedic surgery and traumatology?

Growth factors are used mainly in tendon and joint pathology. Degenerative diseases of articular cartilage, such as osteoarthritis, softening of articular cartilage or chondromalacia. Tendinous diseases such as epicondylitis, Achilles tendonitis and degenerative pathologies of the shoulder. They are used both to prevent surgery and to support surgical treatment. The effect is not immediate, it may take a few months, especially in cartilage pathology. The method is practically painless and the patient can leave the clinic immediately.

Dr. Carlos Saura Gudayol, specialist in Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology / Policlínica Comarcal de El Vendrell

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