Autologous and Allograft:  The Battle Royale

The battle rages on whether “your cells” (Autografts) or cells from someone else (Allografts) are the best choice for your biologic treatments.

            Science is constantly advancing but as of this writing, there is minimal evidence to support the use of Allografts (including placental tissue, amniotic tissue, wharton’s jelly, or cadaveric bone) in the treatment of human orthopedic issues. 

            I know that sounds jaw droppingly crazy since the majority of “stem cell” clinics out there offer magical healing from amniotic/placental based tissues.  They claim that these solutions have more healing potential, have more growth factors and more CFU (colony forming units) than your 50 or 60 year old body.  They may in fact be correct.  The problem is that you don’t care how many cells are in a solution or how many growth factors are present unless it is proven that those cells will actually “help” your condition.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  If these cord blood, amniotic, placental tissue injections are so amazing, then where are the studies proving it? 

            I have attached links HERE of many of the published medical studies which support biologic injections and you will notice how few allograft studies exist in humans for orthopedic needs to date.

            So here is the problem with Allografts.  There is very little data (as you can see above) and there is increased risk.  When you harvest tissue from someone else, you take on the risk of rejection and infection.  Yes, amniotic phase tissue has a low risk of rejection, however the risk of infection with HIV, Hep C and other infectious agents is always possible.  In addition, infection of the solution with bacteria, mold or contaminants during harvest, preparation and shipping is always possible.  

            This is how it sits.  If you use Allografts you take on increased risk, with no well proven benefit.  This may change over time as medical studies are completed and evidence grows.  If that happens, I will be happy to provide you “science-based” allograft injections, but until then, I will only be offering minimally processed, autograft injections consistent with the science available and the FDA guidance.  

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