A2M (Alpha 2 Macroglobulin Injection)
The New Kid on the Block
Alpha 2 macroglobulin, or A2M injection therapy, is a regenerative medicine technique frequently used to treat osteoarthritis, but is showing promise in many applications.
Regenerative medicine encourages the body’s natural healing properties to overcome local areas of injury or disease, pain, or slow healing.
A2M is specifically used to promote tissue growth, prevent the breakdown of cartilage, and support the overall restoration of an affected joint.
Alpha-2-macroglobulin is one of the largest plasma proteins found in the blood. It is a protease inhibitor, which means it binds with specific damage-causing proteins. Specifically, it targets three major proteins that lead to cartilage damage and joint breakdown. The A2M seeks these proteins and binds with them, preventing them from acting in the joint. After these proteins are “captured” by the A2M, the body eliminates them through the waste process.
When a body has an injured joint, the A2M naturally occurring in the body may not present itself in a high enough concentration to accelerate healing. However, when injected in higher concentration into the damaged joint, it has been shown to target the destructive enzymes.
Where does concentrated A2M come from?
Similar to PRP, your physician collects autologous blood (from yourself) and puts it into a centrifuge, which is a machine that spins the blood very fast so that it separates into multiple cells. It’s processed through a multi-phase centrifugation and filtration system, until a concentrated volume of A2M remains.
Unlike PRP or prolotherapy, which purposefully induce an inflammatory response to increase healing, A2M is a non-inflammatory procedure because of the role of the protease inhibitors. A2M slows the progression of arthritis by improving the joint environment.
While most regenerative procedures result in temporary discomfort to the patient because of an expected inflammation following the injection, A2M patients rarely exhibit any significant pain following their procedures, other than the mild discomfort that comes from needles perforating tissue.