Biologic Treatments at Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle
Biologics are cells, blood components and other natural substances that amplify the body’s power to promote healing and decrease inflammation. Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle physicians are committed to providing patients access to the most advanced and proven biological therapies. Treatment is customized for a patient as pain and loss of function are very individual. To provide the best possible treatment outcome your therapeutic regimen may include biologics used either as a non-surgical treatment or as part of surgery.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) contains a high concentration of platelets and a variable amount of white blood cells. This can enhance the body’s natural ability to heal, reduce inflammation in tendons and arthritic joints, and accelerate the repair of damaged tendons and ligaments.
After a simple blood draw and isolation of the active biologic cells, an injection is made directly into the treatment area. At Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle this can be done separately in an outpatient setting or in conjunction with a surgical procedure to help reinforce a repair, speed healing and shorten recovery time.
Stem cells have been shown to reduce inflammation and promote healing, particularly at the site where they are injected. They may be used to reinforce a surgical repair in a joint or tendon. In particular, patients with osteoarthritis, chronic tendon or ligament injuries or cartilage defects may benefit from stem cell injections.
Bone Marrow Aspiration
Stem cells can be harvested from their origin in the bone marrow. They can be collected from the pelvis, humerus or tibia. Once extracted and processed, the stem cells are injected into the area to be treated, often in conjunction with a surgical procedure. Active research is underway for using bone marrow derived stem cells for cartilage injury and transplantation, rotator cuff injury, ligament reconstruction and osteoarthritis.
Fat plays an essential role in the way our body functions and may also play a role in how we heal. Also called adipose tissue, fat contains a network of blood vessels, connective tissue, and potentially regenerative cells, including adipose-derived stem cells. Studies recently have discovered that fat’s reparative cells can help promote a healing environment in response to a tissue injury and can also enhance surgical outcomes for the right patients.
Adipose tissue is harvested from a patient’s own body. The collected fat is processed to eliminate any impurities and inflammatory elements and injected into the surgical site.
A list of conditions that can be treated include:
- Partial rotator cuff tears
- Labrum tears
- Medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
- Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
- Ulnar collateral ligament injury
- DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis
- Trochanteric bursitis
- Iliotibial band tendinitis
- Labrum tear
If you are suffering from a musculoskeletal injury and have not responded to first-line treatments such as immobilization or physical therapy, platelet-rich plasma therapy may be a reasonable option for you. Research is still ongoing into which conditions respond best to PRP treatments, but currently it appears to be best suited for chronic soft tissue injuries and arthritis.
Insurance carriers do not always cover this type of treatment, so it’s important to check your eligibility with your provider.