PRP/Stem Cell Injections
Biologic Treatment Options
The options listed can either be administered in the office or under sedation, with the vast majority of patients having this performed in the office. If sedation is received, the injection can be performed at the surgery center. Prior to the injection, the skin is sterilized with alcohol and then anesthetized with a small amount of numbing agent.
This treatment helps to return some of the normal occurring chemicals back to the joint that are diminished in patients with arthritis. These can range from a single injection to a series of three injections. Insurance only approves these for diagnosis of knee arthritis. Other areas, such as shoulder, hip and elbow, are not approved. Results are variable but can last for up to 6 months and usually depend on the degree of arthritis. While a variety of injection brands are available, this choice is often dictated by your insurance.
Platelet - Rich Plasma (PRP)
This is a newer option to address acute injuries and arthritis. More data is being published supporting the use of PRP for arthritis and tendinitis as well as some acute injuries. It involves taking a small amount of a patient’s blood and spinning it in a centrifuge. The platelet-rich layer is drawn into a syringe and then injected into the affected site. The PRP layer is rich in several natural chemicals that work to relieve inflammation, reduce swelling and initiate healing. This has become an adjunct for an accelerated return back to activities after acute injuries. Athletes have been using PRP to help them return back to their sport at an earlier time after injury. PRP has been shown to have beneficial results with arthritis treatment, with better results typically lasting longer than viscosupplementation. This treatment is not covered by insurance.
This is the only treatment that administers regenerative cells to an injured area. There are a variety of sources to obtain the stem cells. Most patients that require this treatment are at an age where their own stem cells are not as regenerative as desired, so usually other sources are used. One source is donated tissue, such as amnion or chorion. This is not embryonic tissue. These cells have very high regenerative potential. The cells have the ability to develop into many different cell types. The tissue is sterilely processed and tested for purity and safety. As with PRP, the stem cells can be used for acute injuries as well as chronic conditions, such as arthritis. This is not covered by insurance.
Please click on our Joint Preservation and Biologic Program link at the top of this page for further information.