The airwaves and internet are full of ads for collagen supplements, some promising “younger-looking skin” and others promising relief from osteoarthritis pain.
But as is always the case, be sure to read the fine print.
Collagen is the main component of connective tissue, including cartilage between joints and spinal discs. As we age, collagen levels naturally decrease. Despite the advertising claims, studies of the effectiveness of over-the-counter collagen supplements are inconclusive.
This is especially true for patients who have a biologic indicator that reveals they are at higher risk for arthritis, disc generation and sciatica.
Am I a Candidate For this Type of Therapy?
Scientists have discovered that some patients possess the Fibronectin-Aggrecan Complex (FAC). This unique molecular product has been shown to hasten the degeneration of joint cartilage and spinal discs.
A simple test can determine if the patient has FAC. A small fluid sample is taken from the disc or joint space that is causing pain. This is done in the regenerative medicine physician’s office.
If the test reveals the patient is positive for FAC, the regenerative medicine specialist will review their medical history and may order additional imaging studies such as x-ray, ultrasound or MRI to determine the exact source of the pain. Taken together, this information will determine if the patient is a suitable candidate for a special regenerative treatment known as A2M therapy.
What Does A2M Therapy Entail?
A2M is a natural substance found in the blood and has been scientifically proven to stop the progression of joint cartilage and disc degeneration. Known as a Master Protease Inhibitor, A2M hinders the ability of enzymes to break down collagen proteins (proteases). This helps reduce inflammation, pain and further damage to discs and joint cartilage.
Once it is determined that a patient is positive for FAC, a small sample of the patient’s own blood is taken from the arm. The blood is then concentrated using an FDA-approved device and injected into the patient on the same day, using digital x-ray or ultrasound guidance to ensure precise delivery to the source of the patient’s pain.
The entire procedure is autologous, meaning the A2M is taken from and returned to the patient. There are no donor blood products involved.
Performed on an outpatient basis, A2M can improve the pain in patients who have FAC- induced inflammation without the need for hospitalization or lengthy rehab. And just as importantly, it can prevent the pain from getting worse by stopping the progression of collagen degeneration in joint cartilage and spinal discs.
To schedule an appointment or ask questions about this type of therapy, please fill out the form below.
Due to the expertise and technology involved in administering A2M, there are only a few qualified regenerative medicine specialists around the country who administer the procedure. Dr. Ethan Kellum and his team at Nashville Regenerative Orthopedics are highly skilled and trained in providing this service to their patients. To learn more about the Orthopedics services, click here.