PRP & Stem Cell Therapy
What are platelets?
Platelets are small, colorless, disk-shaped cell fragments lacking a nucleus that are found in blood and play an imperative role in clot formation. They also have antimicrobial properties that support healing, infection control and the release of growth factors. These growth factors orchestrate the key biological processes required for healing.
What is PRP?
Plasma is a fluid component of blood that contains water, vital proteins, salts, minerals, sugars, fats, hormones and vitamins. PRP is plasma with a higher concentration of platelets than is generally found in blood.
PRP therapy involves taking the patient’s own blood and placing it in a machine called a centrifuge which separates the blood into several components, one of which is called platelet-rich plasma. Platelets contain many growth factors which have been shown to be very important with regard to healing. The process of centrifuging concentrates these platelets so that they are present in much higher numbers than what would typically be found in the bloodstream.
That platelet-rich plasma is then injected at the site of the injury to induce and potentially accelerate the body’s natural healing process.
What are growth factors?
Growth factors are necessary to initiate tissue repair at a wound site. Growth factors derived from platelets are responsible for soft tissue repair, bone regeneration, development of new blood vessels and stimulation of the wound healing process.
What is PRP used to treat?
Many research studies have been performed, and many more are ongoing, which look at the effectiveness of PRP treatment. The use of PRP varies from procedure to procedure, and is widely used in patients who have an area of mild to moderate tissue degeneration.
Is PRP safe?
The use of PRP is a safe, clinically accepted procedure.
The risks associated with the treatment are minimal, as we use the patient’s own blood to perform the treatments. While a patient may develop increased transient pain at the injection site, PRP appears to be no different than cortisone injections in terms of the likelihood of complications.
Because the procedure is low-risk, it can be a reasonable option for the patient who doesn’t respond to traditional conservative treatment (splinting, bracing, physical therapy, etc.) and wants to avoid surgery.
Stem Cell Therapy
What are Stem Cells?
Essentially, stem cells are the raw material the body uses to create other cells. Stem cells can become any specialized type of cell, including differential cells that only have a specific function, like bone cells or heart cells. No other cells in the body are capable of regenerating into different types of cells like this.
What do Stem Cells do?
Stem cells have the power to go to damaged areas and regenerate new cells and tissues by performing a repair and a renewal process, restoring functionality.
What is the Stem Cell Therapy Procedure?
A sample of bone marrow, along with adipose tissue, is removed from the patient in a simple, relatively painless procedure. These samples are then spun in a centrifuge to isolate and concentrate the stem cells, which create solutions of concentrated bone marrow and adipose stem cells.
PRP (platelet-rich plasma) is obtained by a simple blood draw. The blood is spun down to pure platelets and growth factors, which are also important in the healing of injuries. Platelets act as fertilizer for the stem cells, promoting further growth. All three of these concentrated solutions are injected together into the damaged joint.
The entire procedure is performed under local anesthesia, in-office, in about 60 to 90 minutes. There’s no down time for the patient, and they can assume their daily life immediately. Results are normally seen at approximately three months and can progress up to a year.
What is Stem Cell Therapy used to treat?
In the case of osteoarthritis, the cells found in concentrated bone marrow aspirate (BMAC) and adipose tissue (fat) have been shown to support repair and growth of bone, cartilage, muscle, marrow, tendons, ligaments and connective tissue.
Possible candidates for this procedure include people experiencing persistent arthritic pain, who’ve been diagnosed with mild to moderately severe osteoarthritis.
Is Stem Cell Therapy Safe?
Clinical research shows these injections are safe, with minimal risk of adverse reactions. Because the material is from the patient’s own body, there’s little concern of disease transmission, allergic reaction or tissue rejection.