Fortunately, all the ethical issues associated with stem cell therapy can now be bypassed and ignored since in 2006 it was discovered that it was possible to extract blood from a patient, enrich it with platelets, and then re-inject it into the patient.
PRP injections – or Platelet-rich plasma injections – are a minimally invasive medical treatment that stimulates the regeneration of soft tissues. The injections are a type of regenerative medicine that promotes optimal healing for a person who has sustained injuries and can also be used to help alleviate pain associated with those injuries.
A great deal of research has been done, and experts are now concluding that bone marrow injections can be used to effectively treat arthritis in the knees, as well as other joints throughout the body.
Orthobiologics is steadily becoming more advanced and sophisticated, and many experts agree there will come a time when it is used in favor of more invasive orthopedic surgeries. In fact, because orthobiologics can heal body tissue without all the downtime, risks, and potential complications of full-blown surgery, it may very well become more popular and more prevalent than many kinds of orthopedic surgery.
Every patient wants to know the answer to this question. My answer is partly based on this publication by 4 authors including friend Aaron Calodney, MD. They published a comprehensive analysis in 2015 based on the best evidence currently available. After crunching the data from 24 included studies with a total of 2315 patients...the answer is....pain and function improved for 6 months and at 12 months pain and function scores were still better than preinjection scores. There was a wide range of products injected across these studies. Ongoing research since 2015 suggests that platelet counts above 1000 and total platelet doses above 5 billion give longer and better clinical outcomes.
The low concentration/lower doses of PRP still seem to help too, but for a shorter time.
OK, so maybe a bit of an exaggeration, BUT we have tested 9 commercially available systems and examined their PRP output in a hematology analyzer.
We want to be sure that we know as much as possible about the PRP biologic that we are injecting.
The only way we can continue to improve these biologic therapies is to track the injectate and patient outcomes!
If you have an orthopedic problem....you deserve a complete evaluation and an unbiased opinion on cutting edge nonsurgical options...and if indicated....on surgical options too.
Very few doctors have the surgical and nonsurgical experience to do both.
At Texas Orthobiologics we have been doing that for 16 years and our #1 status on healthgrades.com is based on personalizing treatment for every patient and avoiding surgery whenever possible.
Give us a shout, you won't be sorry!
-Clarification on terminology such as stem cells, regenerative medicine and orthobiologics
-What it means for FDA clearance vs. FDA approval
-Sage advice to surgeons, medical sales reps and patients seeking counsel on orthobiologics