Umbilical cord tissue has many components which are beneficial for transplantation. Chief among these are the ECM, a collagen-based, cross-linked network that provides tensile strength and distributes load. When Wharton’s jelly allografts are applied to soft tissue injuries, the ECM is left intact, providing the same function as in the umbilical cord of cushioning and supporting surrounding tissues. In addition, the ECM remains in the affected area long after application, providing a scaffold for the body’s natural healing process to build upon. These functions make Wharton’s jelly particularly beneficial to patients with musculoskeletal injuries.
While Wharton’s jelly does not treat any specific diseases or conditions, it is appropriate for any case where a soft tissue defect is identified. However, if your patients suffer from osteoarthritis or other degenerative tissue conditions, they may have a higher likelihood of having or developing soft tissue defects. Through imaging, you can identify these defects and address them with WJ connective tissue supplementation.