Stem cell injections and Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment are two forms of regenerative medicine, a non-surgical alternative to traditional orthopedic treatments. These treatment strategies accelerate the body’s natural healing mechanisms to repair and restore damaged tissue, for example in the knee, hip, shoulder, and elbow.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cells have the potential to replace cells in many different body tissues such as tendons or cartilage. Stem cell therapy involves extraction of stem cells from adult non-controversial sources, such as blood or bone marrow, and then injection near the injury site. The stem cells then transform into the same type of cell as the injured tissue and speed up healing. Stem cell therapy can be used in lieu of traditional treatments such as physical therapy, steroid injections, and pain medications in some cases.
PRP treatment requires spinning a small volume of blood in a centrifuge to separate out PRP concentrate, which contains five times the amount of platelets and growth factors relative to what the body uses to heal injuries. This layer is extracted and injected back at the injured ligament, tendon, etc. This process takes less than one hour and is repeated over the course of a few weeks to speed up healing. Since your own blood is used, PRP treatment avoids the risks of donor incompatibility.
Am I A Candidate?
Stem Cell and PRP treatment are great for treating conditions such as torn tendons and ligaments, chronic tendonitis, and osteoarthritis. Age does not disqualify you as a candidate for regenerative therapies, but you may be disqualified if you have an active infection, blood borne diseases, certain medications such as blood thinners, or have comorbidities including diabetes, low testosterone, or hypothyroidism. To confirm that you are a candidate, see our orthopedic regenerative medicine specialist, Dr. Zaki Anwar, by requesting an appointment.