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ALPHA-2 MACROGLOBULIN

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Your current treatment program may be controlling your joint or back pain symptoms but not stopping or preventing those painful episodes from happening. Though most patients find conventional types of treatment offer temporary relief, they may not be eliminating the underlying source of arthritic joint or back pain.

For the majority of patients with pain, the arthritic joint or back disc space contains more destructive enzymes than the body’s defenses can handle, thus the joint lining begins to break down and erosion of the joint surface happens.

Research has identified a “pain protein” in the joint which is associated with painful inflammation. Your pain doctor can test for this enzyme or protease with a simple test called a FAC test. This test is looking for Fibronectin-Aggrecan Complex (FAC), which is the pain inducing protein.

If FAC is found in your painful joint we have a solution which could help reduce pain and damage to the joint. Your body makes a molecule in the liver which is a defense against the destructive action of FAC. The “good guy” molecule is called Alpha-2 Macroglobulin. It is made in the liver and is elevated in the blood stream after exercise or vigorous activity. A2M attaches to and removes the destructive enzymes and proteases which damage cartilage cells and tissues in the joint or disc space.

Due to the large size of the A2M molecule, it is unable to get into the joint space in high enough quantities to negate the destructive action of FAC. Therefore, your doctor can process a sample of your blood in a high speed centrifuge, remove the red blood cells and then run the fluid through another filtration machine to maximize the A2M concentration to about 6 times the normal level found in the blood. This concentrate can then be injected directly into the joint.

Your Hill Country Pain doctor will use ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance to make sure the A2M fluid is placed accurately into the joint. Because this injection is derived from your blood, it employs natural growth factors and bioactive proteins as a physiological agent to neutralize the destructive enzymes and promote tissue growth and restoration of the affected joint.

You may require 1-3 injections per joint for this therapy to be effective. The majority of patients can expect reduction of inflammation within a few days of the injection. Total healing time is unique to your injury and your body’s recovery process. It can take up to 8 weeks to fully complete.

Insurance companies do not cover some of our newest regenerative therapies. However, you can pay for this therapy with cash, credit card, or use your health saving account plan or flexible spending plan (FSA).

If you have questions about A2M and whether if might be useful in the treatment of your pain, please post your questions below.

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