Two of the newest treatments in orthopedics are stem cell and PRP therapy. These therapies show tremendous promise in treating certain orthopedic conditions.
Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cells are basically master building blocks and can reproduce more specialized cells like bone, blood, or muscle cells.
The stem cell therapy process involves your doctor harvesting mesenchymal stem cells (a type of adult stem cell) from your bone marrow, blood, or fatty tissue. Most often, however, the adult stem cells are harvested from your blood. The cells are processed and injected back into your body at the site of injury, using ultrasound to guide its placement. Your doctors may use stem cell therapy either by itself or in conjunction with other procedures, like PRP therapy.
There are many maladies that can possibly be improved with stem cell therapy. In the field of orthopedics, it is most often used on patients with degenerative conditions, joint inflammation, damaged ligaments or other tissue, and even fractured bones.
The idea is that stem cells will stimulate new tissue growth, which will then replace damaged tissue in the area. And because a patient’s own cells are being used, there is no chance of immune system rejection.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
Platelets are found in the body’s circulating blood supply in small numbers. PRP therapy involves drawing blood, which is then spun in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets and growth factors that stimulate healing in the body.
This concentrated mixture is then injected into the body, at the site of pain, using ultrasound to guide its placement.
A Combination Approach
The best results are obtained using a combination approach: both stem cell and PRP therapies at the same time. This approach is used to target chronic sprains and strains that have stubbornly resisted more conservative approaches like physical therapy, rest, and medication.
The best injuries for guided stem cell and PRP injections are rotator cuff injuries (including partial and full tears), knee sprains and instability, tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow, hip and hamstring sprains, patellofemoral syndrome and patellar tendonosis, sprains of the ankle, Achilles tendonosis and plantar fasciitis, sports hernias, and joint osteoarthritis.
This two-pronged treatment approach can help repair soft tissue damage in the body.
Who Can Benefit from Stem Cell and PRP Therapy
You may benefit from ultrasound-guided PRP or stem cell therapy if:
- Physical therapy has not resolved your symptoms
- Pain interferes with your daily activities
- You have a sensitivity to NSAIDs
- Other nonsurgical measures have proven ineffective
If you or someone you know has a soft tissue injury that has until now refused to improve using other measures, consider PRP and stem cell injections. These treatments might be the key to alleviating your symptoms without surgery.
For more information on our regenerative medicine services, please contact Bowen Hefley Orthopedics. Call (800) 336-2412 or request an appointment to find out if you are a viable candidate for ultrasound-guided PRP and stem cell injections.