Stem cell therapy is the future of orthopedic treatment. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a form of stem cell therapy that involves using the patients own blood and injecting the portion of that blood filled with growth factors and other mediators that recruit stem cells to the injured area and encourage healing. We do PRP injections in our office for a 500 dollar cost, insurance generally does not cover. PRP is the only type of injection that can actually result in healing, as opposed to steroid/cortisone injection which just reduces inflammation.
PRP is used for a variety of conditions and currently has been shown in orthopedic studies to be beneficial for arthritis, tendonitis, tennis elbow, Achilles tendon issues, etc. It shows promise in other areas as well such as rotator cuff problems and muscle injuries. The entire process of blood draw, spinning the blood and removing the platelet rich component, and injecting into the affected area takes only 15-20 mins and all is done in the office.
Discussion with the orthopedic surgeon is required to determine if PRP is appropriate for the patient’s condition. This is an exciting area of development in treating orthopedic problems.
-Daniel Aldrich, MD
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