As of recent years, there has be a number of technological breakthroughs that have changed the way athletes and others rehabilitate after injury or surgery. The use of medicine that helps the body regenerate its tissues more effectively has been used by high profile athletes for the past few years with encouraging results. This type of technology is being applied to other areas of medicine in hopes of offering patients an alternative to surgery or lengthy rehabilitation. The two types of which are known are platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy.
What is PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma entails injecting a patient with his/her own platelets. The blood is drawn from the patient then concentrated with a special process where the platelets and growth factor from the blood is 600% the concentration of normal blood. PRP is then injected near the affected area of injury or pain. The growth factors increase and promotes temporary pain relief, reduces inflammation, and helps speed up the healing process.
PRP has been proven to benefit patients with
• degenerative joint disease
• tennis elbow
• hip pain
• knee pain
• shoulder pain
• sports injuries
Stem Cell Therapy
In the case of stem cell therapy, it is also a technology recognized to help repair damaged and deteriorated tissues. The human body has a supply of stem cells in the back of the hip area, or iliac bone. They are harvested when a patient is ready to have the stem cell therapy procedure. The procedure is done in the doctor’s office. To withdraw the marrow blood that contains the stem cells, a special needle is used. This procedure is not painful like a bone marrow biopsy.
The bone marrow blood is then taken to be concentrated and purified. A sample of stem cells with be taken from this blood and injected into the injury. A PRP is done at this time as well so the growth factors can encourage the stem cells to work. Another PRP injection will be done in 3-5 days to keep the stem cells working to heal the affected area.
Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy and PRP
• The procedures are done in the same day.
• It is a viable alternative to surgery or joint replacement.
• Patients can resume their normal activity after the procedure.
• Painful and lengthy rehab can be avoided.
• Patients will not have the risks that surgery has, like infection and blood clots.
When the stem cells and PRP are used, the natural repair process of deteriorated and damaged tendons and ligaments as well as arthritis injoints is enhanced. This can reverse the natural breakdown process that occurs from overuse of the joints, aging, and injuries. If you have a sports injury or other joint issues, contact your orthopedics physician today.