What is amniotic fluid therapy?
By Tanuj P Palvia, M.D
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 52 million Americans suffer from arthritis. Often, it’s a painful, frustrating, and life-limiting arthritis. At Hudson Spine, we offer many treatments for arthritic conditions. Standard treatments for can include heat or cold packs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen, low-impact aerobic exercises, and/or weight loss. When these fail, other approaches such as steroid injections or hyaluronic acid (HA) injections can be implemented. While these treatments can be very effective, some patients are interested in seeking out more natural alternatives to treat their disease. Recently, Hudson Spine and Hudson Wellness have started offering patients amniotic fluid therapy. Amniotic fluid is an organic fluid that surrounds the fetus in utero, but then is subsequently discarded after birth. It is not derived from the embryo itself. Its composition is similar to synovial fluid (the natural joint fluid depleted in arthritic conditions), containing almost all of the same compounds such as hyaluronic acid, growth factors, phospholipids, proteins, electrolytes, carbohydrates, chemokines, cytokines, and cholesterol.
Interim reports from ongoing studies suggest that the use of amniotic fluid is safe and effective for the treatment of various conditions, including osteoarthritis in large joints (shoulder, hip, knee, ankle). The goal of the treatment is improved protection, lubrication, and cushioning of the arthritic joint that can thereby reduce the associated stiffness and pain. It is also being studied for the use of refractory tendonitis and tendinopathies. Typically, results can be seen in three to five days after injection, with longer-lasting relief at a higher level (approximate 12 to 18 months), while demonstrating a lower incidence of pain, swelling, or inflammation compared to more traditional injections.
By Tanuj P Palvia, M.D.