The human body is a miraculous thing, capable of healing itself. And now, thanks to regenerative medicine, that self-healing power is greater than ever – especially in the field of orthopedics.
Two forms of treatment, in particular, are enabling patients who are suffering from osteoarthritis, tendon injuries, or degenerative disc and facet joints to ease their pain and restore their mobility without invasive surgery. These two treatments are Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell Therapy.
And while two are similar and equally effective in treating musculoskeletal diseases and injuries, there are important technical and with distinguishable differences.
Platelet Rich Plasma
PRP is obtained from a patient’s own blood. When a sample of blood is drawn and processed in a high-speed centrifuge, it renders a higher concentration of growth and healing factors which are then injected into an injured area to begin the process of tissue regeneration.
Stem Cell Therapy
Non-embryonic stem cells, on the other hand, are derived from a number of sources including fatty tissue in the patient’s own body. These “organic building blocks” are an essential part of the body’s normal healing process that can be converted into any cell that your body needs. With Stem Cell Therapy, these adult stem cells can be used to replace and repair damaged and/or injured tissue – including muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and cartilage – allowing for natural healing.
The key difference between PRP and Stem Cell Therapy is that PRP assists in the restoration or acceleration of your body’s existing process, whereas stem cells are not used to promote healing, but to replace tissues that are completely lost.
PRP injections are safely performed in a medical office in a procedure that takes just one or two hours, including preparation. PRP can relieve the pain of torn ligaments or pain that can be the result of arthritis, osteoarthritis or tendonitis; plus it eliminates the risks associated with surgery, general anesthesia, or a prolonged recovery period.
Stem Cell Therapy is also a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that only takes about 15 minutes. It doesn’t require local or general anesthesia, and there is no downtime.
The Verdict – which is better?
So which is the better therapy? That depends on your specific condition, as both PRP and Stem Cell Therapy offer specific benefits for those with orthopedic needs.
Most stem cell therapy patients report a significant improvement in their condition within a couple of days. Also, they tend to experience complete restoration of their damaged or injured ligaments, tendons, or cartilage within about six weeks. Plus, Stem Cell Therapy is proven to be completed safely with no side effects reported by patients in the U.S. or Europe.
If you have tried traditional treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications or physical therapy without success and you are looking to surgery as a last resort, you may want to consider the natural healing power of PRP or Stem Cell Therapy.
Dr. Bill Hefley is devoted to treating a broad range of conditions affecting the shoulder, hip, and knee, both operatively and non-operatively. If you have any questions about PRP or Stem Cell Therapy, contact us to schedule a consultation. You can call (800) 336-2412 or use our online appointment request form.