The good folks at Apex Biologix don’t like to talk about regenerative medicine in terms of miraculous treatments. Their business is selling centrifuges, stem cell and PRP kits, etc. But they are more than happy to report stories of ‘miracle’ outcomes when they do occur. One such story out of Los Angeles has recently made the rounds.
The story involves a young woman who lost a fingertip while on vacation in Honduras. One of the doctors she saw in Los Angeles advised PRP therapy to manage her phantom limb pain, yet both were surprised when the lost portion of her finger grew back. They credit the PRP treatment as having contributed to the woman’s recovery.
How It Happened
According to CGTN, Ja’Niya Walker lost the tip of her left index finger in Honduras in 2017. A puma apparently latched on to her finger and wouldn’t let go as she was interacting with animals at a wildlife sanctuary. As is normal for such injuries, Walker began experiencing phantom limb pain.
The pain was severe enough that she visited an L.A. pain management specialist who recommended PRP injections. Walker and Dr. Akash Bajaj both say that her damaged finger began to heal itself almost immediately after injections began. Her eventual outcome was far greater than either had expected.
For those who might be skeptical, there is video evidence backing up Walker’s account. The video shows her damaged finger as well as what it looks like now. Something has clearly happened even if science cannot attribute the regrowth of Walker’s finger directly to PRP injections.
Proof of PRP Efficacy?
Dr. Bajaj is convinced that Walker’s story is further proof of the efficacy of PRP therapy in helping the body regenerate certain kinds of tissues. He told CGTN that “we have the ability within us to heal ourselves.” He went on to explain that, while society has generally forgotten about the human body’s innate healing abilities, regenerative medicine is bringing them back to the forefront.
So, how should doctors look at Walker’s story? First and foremost, her story is not unequivocal proof that PRP injections are capable of regenerating large volumes of tissue. It would be irresponsible to push PRP therapy as a miracle cure capable of replacing severed limbs and re-growing broken bones. However, it is reasonable to attribute Walker’s recovery, in part, to the injections she received.
Medical science already knows that blood plasma contains a variety of growth factors the body utilizes for repair purposes. We know that concentrating plasma and growth factors can enhance the body’s ability to heal. So it is quite likely that the injections Walker received did play a role in the recovery.
Further Study Is Warranted
If nothing else, Walker’s story indicates that further study is warranted. If the PRP injections did indeed facilitate the regrowth of her finger, the implications are significant. PRP therapy could have the potential to do far more than we ever imagined.
PRP therapy is currently limited to treating musculoskeletal injuries, osteoarthritis, hair loss, and aging of the skin. But the applications could prove to be far greater. Assuming Walker’s recovery is attributable to her injections, there could come a day when doctors are using a combination of PRP and stem cell material to grow all sorts of tissue for a variety of applications above and beyond what is currently being offered.
In the meantime, Walker and her doctor are just happy to know that the PRP injections helped. Walker is living proof that the human body is capable of amazing things. That is the real story here.