Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is a mixture of concentrated platelets containing large amounts of growth factors and white blood cells. It is given as an injection to stimulate healing and speed up recovery time. PRP is an excellent treatment option for orthopedic injuries and conditions that have traditionally required surgery. It only requires taking a small amount of your blood and then spinning the blood in a special centrifuge that separates and concentrates the platelets.
In the body, platelets encourage healing and tissue repair by calling the body’s reparative mesenchymal stem cells to the site of injury. By injecting injured or damaged sites with a concentrated mix of blood platelets harvested from one’s own body, tissue is stimulated to regenerate more effectively. The treatment can be used alone in moderate cases. In more severe cases, PRP is used with mesenchymal stem cell injections to “fire off” the stem cells to multiply more quickly and to speed healing.
Stem cells are a class of undifferentiated cells that are able to give rise to multiple cell types of all tissues of the body, such as cartilage, skin, muscle, bone, organs or other body parts. They are self-renewing and have the natural ability to repair and re-grow damaged tissues. However, as we age or in people with degenerative diseases, stem cells may not be released effectively enough to fully repair the damaged areas.
At Spine & Joint Center, we use autologous (your own) ADULT stem cells, which means the stem cells are collected from your own body, eliminating possibilities of tissue rejection and disease transmission. There is no moral or ethical issue associated with autologous ADULT stem cells.
Stem cells can be collected using BMAC (bone marrow aspiration concentration) or ADSCs (Adipose Derived Stem Cells) methods. To find out more about BMAC and ADSCs, click here.
All procedures (platelet-rich plasma, bone marrow aspiration concentration and adipose-derived stem cell therapy) are performed in our state-of-the-art facility.
Yes, we do use image guidance for all of our procedures since we believe the use of image guidance is necessary to ensure the stem cells get to the injured area that needs the treatment. We use both state-of-the-art Ultrasound and Fluoroscopic x-ray guidance machines depending on the procedure being performed.
We treat a wide range of orthopedic problems of the knee, hip, ankle, shoulder, elbow, wrist, foot, and low back. Conditions treated include arthritis, tendonitis, joint cartilage and labrum problems, tennis and golfer’s elbow, rotator cuff tears and knee meniscus injuries, sacral iliac joint pain and injury, disc herniations as well as tears and injuries of tendons, ligaments and muscles.
The treatments consist of an injection of prolotherapy, PRP or stem cells in combination or alone which are delivered to the site of pain or damaged tissue. While the total number of injections required may vary depending on age and the severity and type of the condition, most patients require 2-4 injections spaced approximately 4-6 weeks apart.
As the treatment is a repair process, it may take some time before you begin to see an improvement in your condition. Tissue typically takes between 2 and 3 months to repair itself, but most people notice a change in their symptoms and condition before then. Approximately 86% of patients surveyed who have undergone PRP or stem cell therapy report being satisfied with their treatment and that they would do it again.
Generally speaking, PRP and stem cell therapies are very safe and minimally invasive comparing to traditional surgeries. You may feel pain at the PRP injection site for 1-2 day following the procedure. Most patients only require some extra-strength Tylenol. A few days of recovery time may be needed after a bone marrow draw or autologous stem cell procedure.
Some stem cell therapies are now being covered by some major medical insurances, workers compensation and automobile accident insurances. However, Medicare at this time is not covering these therapies.
Yes. Toxins in cigarette smoke prevent stem cells from becoming cartilage. Read more here. Alcohol consumption can also have damaging effects on the regeneration process of stem cells. In general the healthier you are the more affective your stem cells will be to repair the injured area.
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