Stem Cell – PRP & Regenerative Medicine
The past decade has witnessed the growing popularity of regenerative medicine. While conventional treatments often focus on managing symptoms, regenerative treatments contrastingly attempt to restore damaged cartilage and tissue and optimize bodily function.
Regenerative injections take the form of amniotic particulate (a biologic that attracts stem cells), platelet rich plasma (PRP), or often a mixture of both depending on the severity. These injections work to repair injured or diseased cartilage and tissue, eventually reducing inflammation and its associated pain. Many patients credit stem cells and PRP with delaying and frequently avoiding joint replacement or fusion surgery.
Stem cell therapy involves the injection of amniotic particulate directly into the affected area, attracting stem cells to rebuild damaged tissue. During a procedure, dehydrated amniotic material (containing multiple proteins, growth factors, and cytokines) are reconstituted with sterile saline and delivered into the site of injury under ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance.
PRP therapy provides a safe, non-invasive procedure for stimulating durable healing and pain relief. PRP utilizes platelets from the patient’s blood to help rebuild damaged cartilage, ligaments, or tendons. After intravenous collection in a leukocyte-rich PRP tube, the blood spins in a centrifuge to separate the plasma and produce the resultant high potency platelets—the blood cells responsible for clotting. The process increases the concentration of platelets and growth factors to approximately 400%. The concentrated injectate is then directed into the joint—oftentimes under ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance. Patients may have a brief inflammatory response to a PRP injection, but the short-term discomfort usually equals a better long-term outcome. Overtime, PRP decreases inflammation and pain, which in turn increases positive architectural changes within the joint.
Platelets contain rich amounts of growth factors that help in pain reduction, tissue repair, bone regeneration, new blood vessel development, and wound healing. PRP promotes the growth of collagen, the main component of connective tissue found in tendons and cartilage. Unsurprisingly, when combined with amniotic particulate, PRP offers enhanced recruitment of stem cells to the damaged tissue, thus increasing effectiveness and favorable long-term outcomes.