What is Amniotic Fluid?
During a woman’s pregnancy, amniotic fluid surrounds the developing fetus. At birth, amniotic fluid is sterilely obtained and is donated.
How Does It Work?
Amniotic fluid contains nutrients, proteins, antibodies and cytokines that support the migration of growth cells. The proteins in the fluid (fibronectin, laminin, and hyaluronic acid, among others) help with proliferation, differentiation and adherence of growth factors in regions where it is injected. Amniotic fluid contains large amounts of hyaluronic acid (HA), which is associated with lubrication and has an anti-inflammatory effect. It’s a critical component of articular cartilage as a coating around cartilage cells.
Plus, the amniotic sack is “immune-privileged,” meaning there is minimal risk of an immune or foreign-body reaction.
What is the Procedure?
Using dynamic ultrasound or fluoroscopy (X-ray) to precisely guide the needle, we inject amniotic fluid directly into the affected area to stimulate a response. A local anesthetic may be used to numb the area prior to injection. The entire procedure takes between 20 and 30 minutes.
When used for joint arthritis, most patients experience a 60-70% decrease in pain and similar improvement in function within the first month. Continued improvement can occur over three months.