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The Key Differences Between Embryonic & Adult Stem Cell Therapy

Mention stem cells, and the controversial topic of embryonic stem cell research comes to mind.

It’s therefore crucial to underline that the stem cell therapy used for regenerative medicine is adult stem cell therapy.

It is not the subject of any ethical controversy, since in this kind of therapy the stem cells are taken directly from the patient themselves. Adult stem cell therapy is in fact a separate area of research from embryonic stem cells.

What Are Stem Cells?

As one might guess form the name, all of the 300+ types of human cells “stem” from special, more primitive and undifferentiated cells. These cells are the precursors of the specialized cells making up our blood, bones, brain cells, muscles, heart cells, organs, skin, and the like.

Stem cells come in two types: adult, and embryonic.

adult stem cell therapy

stem cell therapy

Adult stem cells, as used in regenerative therapies, are present in a number of types of tissue long after birth — for example, the bones, brain, intestine, kidneys, liver, skin, muscle, nervous system, and pancreas. These cells are designed to help repair and replace injured tissue.

Embryonic stem cells, on the other hand, are present in the newly fertilized egg inside 5 days after fertilization. They’re present before the egg has been implanted into the uterus wall. The stem cells are about the size of a grain of sugar, and the “ball” of stem cells is known as the blastocyte.

Why Is There A Controversy?

For a long time, scientists believed adult stem cells were less capable than they actually are, and as a result focused on researching embryonic stem cells.

In order to get embryonic stem cells, they’re usually taken from the left-over fertilized eggs which result from the in vitro fertilization process. (Couples using in-vitro fertilization, where the fertilization is done outside the body, will have multiple eggs and sperm fertilized.

This is to ensure implanting them back into the woman will ‘take.’) Around 50-60% of the resulting embryos are not considered viable.

Since the Catholic Church believes life starts at conception, the Church strongly disagrees with making any use of the resulting ball of cells. The fact that the cells could become human if they were implanted means that, in Church doctrine, they have the same status as a fetus.

No use of the fertilized eggs for any reason except re-implanting them is permitted. Other Christian sects and religions have adopted this position also.

Why Not Use Adult Stem Cells in Research?

Since adult stem cells — the types used by Regenerative Medicine Specialists in stem cell therapy — do not have any ethical or religious concerns associated with them, it would seem logical to avoid the controversial embryonic type entirely. However, for a long time adult stem cells were thought to be less capable than they are. Only recently has it been shown that adult stem cells are able to change into other types of cells than the tissue from which they were taken, for example.

While embryonic stem cells still have some benefits for scientists working in the lab, much research is now shifting to adult stem cells.

How Does This Impact Stem Cell Treatment?

Now that scientists have been able to reverse adult stem cells from particular tissues into many different cell types, the door has been opened to making adult stem cell therapy even more powerful and versatile than before.

At no point is there any involvement of the controversial embryonic stem cells. Instead, research is underway to use the non-controversial adult stem cell therapy for Alzheimer’s disease, deafness, and even baldness.

Alternatives to Surgery for Knee Joint Pain Relief

knee joint pain relief

knee joint pain

Knee injuries are quite common.

Estimates are that they are responsible for more than 1 million surgeries every year.

About 650,000 of those are arthroscopic meniscal procedures.

Considering that in particular these meniscal procedures can leave the knee in an unstable condition (the re-operation rate for post-meniscectomy procedures may be up to 29%) this is a very high number.

Fortunately, for some patients, regenerative medicine may help provide knee joint pain relief without painful and invasive surgery.

What Causes Knee Pain?

In order to understand why it’s so important to find alternatives to surgery for knee joint pain relief, it’s worth first understanding where the pain comes from in the first place, and the knee’s anatomy.

One of the most frequently injured components is the meniscus, a fibrocartilagionous, crescent-shaped structure which is actually divided into two specific parts: the medial and lateral menisci.

These menisci give the knee its structural integrity, while delivering lubrication and nutrition to the articular cartilage and shock absorption to the structure as a whole when moving around. A number of ligaments also work with the mensci in tandem, in order to prevent overextension.

The menisci can get damaged in two ways: gradual overuse and acute injury. Tears tend to be the most common form of injury. The trouble with the meniscus is it’s poorly vascularized — it has limited blood flow. (Just 10-25% of the meniscus has a direct supply of blood.) If the area is injured, the chances of an internal, natural repair are limited. The other areas cannot heal from injuries at all.

Identifying A Meniscal Tear

Patients who suffer a meniscus tear as a result of trauma or sudden injury experience immediate, sudden pain, often accompanied by a kind of pop. If the tear is the result of overuse and ongoing stress, the pain will tend to be less obtrusive. It simply increases in time.

For both cases, the injury is usually accompanied by some swelling and an overall reduction in mechanical function and mobility. Meniscal tears are often also accompanied by popping, clicking, or locking in the knee joint.

Though many patients decide to seek help as a result of overt symptoms like these, a surprising number of patients have torn menisci yet don’t realize it. One study found that 60% of patients whose knees got an MRI scan showed a meniscal tear, though they didn’t have the symptoms.

As a result, patients who have an MRI for knee pain come back with a mensical tear may have had the tear silently for 20 years or more — yet their doctors may recommend surgery.

Healing The Knee Without Surgery

Ultimately, the problem with surgery is that it cannot change the lack of a blood supply to the meniscus. The surgery does not allow the body to heal itself, so surgeries often result in more pain, instability, and degeneration.

Instead, PRP or stem cell therapy may be able to help with knee pain, and do it without surgery. PRP therapy in particular delivers to the damaged or torn meniscus an ‘extra dose’ of the things it needs: healing factors like platelets, which allow the meniscus to heal itself.

Best of all, this procedure does not require a hospital visit or any physical therapy for recovery. Regenerative techniques can often be done on a same-day, in-office basis.

Treatment for shoulder pain With PRP Therapy

treatment for shoulder pain

shoulder pain treatment

For more than a decade now, platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy has been used for treating the many problems which can afflict the shoulder — torn and injured ligaments and tendons, tendonitis at the rotator cuff, impingements, and more.

Among the conditions which it may help is shoulder impingement — a painful condition which produces shoulder pain as a result of bursitis or tendonitis in the acromiclavicular joint, or due to rotator cuff tendonitis.

This condition is frequently over-diagnosed, and many doctors are very fast to recommend surgery, yet surgery often leaves patients with residual pain even after the procedure.

PRP therapy therefore represents a welcome alternative for many patients.

What Is A Shoulder Impingement?

Shoulder impingements begin with bursitis or tendonitis in the acromioclavicular joint, or with a tendonitis in the rotator cuff.

The acromioclavicular joint is the joint which allows the clavicle to articulate with the frontal part of the scapula.

In theory, excessive impingement which is associated with the rotator cuff tendons rubbing over the scapula and under the clavicle results in shoulder pain. Nevertheless, many doctors are too quick to diagnose this as the cause of a particular patient’s pain — and too quick to offer surgery as the best method of treatment for shoulder pain in these patients.

As with back pain, most of these cases can be treated successfully with conservative therapy. On the other hand, an MRI scan can help assess the amount of rotator cuff or shoulder joint tissue injury.

A careful approach to recommending surgery is worthwhile as many patients who have arthroscopic surgery for this condition end up still suffering from pain even after the procedure. They also must undergo weeks or months worth of rehabilitative therapy.

How Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy May Be An Effective Treatment For Shoulder Pain

Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, may offer patients a non-surgical treatment for rotator cuff injuries and shoulder pain. PRP therapy works by enhancing the body’s natural process of healing, rather than cutting away tissue or injecting steroids.

The therapy begins when the patient’s blood is drawn and then processed using a sterile technique. The PRP is isolated and then drawn off, producing a platelet concentration which may be as much as 700% of the baseline.

These platelets contain growth factors, cytokines, and proteins which, once injected, will trigger a cascade of tissue regeneration and healing.

Then, the PRP is injected into the region of “impingement” or damaged tissue. White blood cells (macrophages) come into the region where the PRP was injected to clean away the damaged tissue.

A protein matrix forms to which the new tissue attaches. Fibroblasts come in to form new and strong collagen fibers, rebuilding the damaged tendons, ligaments, or cartilage. Stem cells are also recruited into the region — they differentiate into whichever tissue cells are needed to produce healing.

This whole process happens over 6-8 weeks.

PRP Advantages

Compared with surgery, PRP therapy takes just an hour or so and can be done in the office, without a hospital stay. Patients do not need rehab and don’t have any “down time.”

For many patients with shoulder pain, PRP may be able to help them avoid the many disadvantages of invasive therapies.

Welcome From The Regenerative Medicine Specialists of Camarillo

The Regenerative Medicine Specialists of Camarillo, CA introduce the exciting new field of regenerative medicine!

Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Dr.Dale Kiker. And I’m Dr.Joe Cabaret. We’re excited to welcome you to Regenerative Medicine Specialists, and you can find us at regendoctor.com. We’re located in Camarillo, California, and we treat patients from all over the place. We’re super excited about this new therapy, and we’d like to invite you to come down and visit us. If you have a chronic, painful condition, you may be a candidate for our treatment. Contact us right away so we can get you back into the game.

How We Treat Iliolumbar Ligament Pain

Normally, iliolumbar ligament pain is the result of sports injuries that involved repeated bending or twisting the back. For example, golf and volleyball injuries are frequent causes of iliolumbar ligament problems; car accidents are another common one as well.

Iliolumbar ligament pain may sometimes be called iliac crest pain syndrome, iliolumbar syndrome for short. No matter what the cause, it’s always produced by tearing and/or inflammation in the iliolumbar ligament.

The iliolumbar ligament stretches from the back of the pelvis — the iliac crest — up towards the spine. Inflammation here can produce referred pain that seems to be coming from a variety of places: the back, the hip, the groin, the pelvis, or sometimes even the testicular, vaginal, or rectal areas. This referred pain can make it difficult to diagnose.

Signs of Iliolumbar Ligament Pain

Recurring, frequent lower back pain attacks are common symptoms of iliolumbar ligament pain. These attacks will tend to show up in a triangularly shaped region which is located between the so-called erector spinae muscles, the facet joints, the quadratus lumborum muscle, the lumbar fascia, and the iliolumbar ligaments. Painful attacks may be produced by almost any kind of physical exercise involving a bending or twisting of the lumbar spine.

In some cases, however, the pain only shows itself once the patient has been sitting down for some time — or even just during a brief period of time in the early morning, such as immediately after waking up and getting out of bed.

Lastly, patients with iliolumbar syndrome sometimes experience hip or groin pains next to the standard pains, possibly including some tenderness of the iliolumbar area as well.

Treating Iliolumbar Syndrome

Iliolumbar ligament pain may be difficult to diagnose, since it often involves pain in a variety of areas. Usually doctors assume it is a muscular strain, leading them to prescribe rest and ice.

Sadly, this approach does not actually help heal the damaged ligament, nor can it repair weak ligaments which produce the referred pain. This means that the chronic pain of iliolumbar ligament problems goes unresolved.

Iliolumbar Ligament Pain

iliolumbar ligament pain

After the more conservative program of treatment has failed, usually doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids — yet these often produce more harm than they do good. Though they provide short term pain relief, in the long term these may be harmful, accelerating cartilage degeneration and inhibiting soft tissue healing.

Patients who don’t respond to even these treatments are usually referred to a surgeon. Yet since surgeons tend to rely on the X-ray as a diagnostic tool and X-rays usually fail to identify iliolumbar issues correctly, the surgeon may not recognize before the surgery that they are dealing with iliolumbar syndrome — and as a result they do not recognize the surgery will be unable to alleviate the iliolumbar ligament pain.

How We Treat Iliolumbar Ligament Pain

Instead of using harmful steroids or resorting to surgery, it is our experience that regenerative treatments like stem cells and PRP therapies may relieve ilolumbar syndrome in as little as a single visit to our office, without a hospital stay.

How is this possible? Regenerative therapies allow the body to repair itself quickly and effectively. They involve taking cells which are designed to promote rapid healing from places in the body where these cells are stored and then injecting them into the damaged area.

There, they promote healing and rapid tissue regeneration.

How Stem Cell Therapy Eases Pain & Helps Avoid Surgery

stem cell injections

stem cell therapy

Arlene Abrams of Cleveland, Ohio is a patient who has dealt with shoulder pain for over a decade. Despite undergoing surgery for a torn rotator cuff in her right shoulder, after a few years she started experiencing significant pain as well as a limited range of motion again. MRI scans of her shoulders showed major tearing, damage, and retraction — the only surgical option from there was total shoulder replacement.

However, Arlene preferred to avoid undergoing another round of surgery to her shoulder if at all possible. Thanks to stem cell therapy, she has so far been able to stay off the operating table.

Instead of going through surgery, Arlene decided to try regenerative medicine, as practiced by Regenerative Medicine Specialists. This cutting-edge type of treatment allows the body to regenerate injured tissues by regenerating them from the patient’s own stem cells. The therapy stimulates previously damaged tissues to the point that they regain their structure and begin to recover. With stem cell therapy, Arlene’s pain went down while her range of motion went up.

Within a few weeks after the procedure — which was performed at the Cleveland Shoulder Institute — Arlene noticed that it no longer stressed her shoulders to hold her “wiggly” 4-month-old granddaughter. “I no longer have pain” when she picks up laundry soap or a gallon of milk, she said. “I couldn’t be more pleased.”

Regenerative techniques use adult stem cells taken from the patient, sometimes combined with blood platelets, in order to speed up healing and repair in bone, joint, muscle, soft tissue, as well as nerve injuries.

All of us carry around stem cells which act as the body’s “repairmen.” Healthy regenerative stem cells exist in fat, the bone marrow, as well as some forms of connective tissue. Regenerative treatments take these healthy cells from parts of the body that are rich in them, then inject the cells into injured parts of the body which need them.

Because the cells have been taken from the patient’s own tissue, there’s no risk of rejection when they’re injected into the injured area. Often using ultrasonic guidance to ensure precise placement, the doctor injects the extracted cells directly into the injured ligament, tendon, muscle, nerve, joint, or bone. There is no hospital stay required.

Arelene had her stem cell treatments “right there in the doctor’s office,” she said. She first started noticing improvements in both her limited range of motion and chronic pain “about two weeks” following the procedure, and her condition has “continued to significantly improve” since then.

Regenerative medicine may represent a viable alternative for many patients who are looking to avoid surgery or ongoing steroid treatments in ever larger numbers. It can help with many conditions ranging from osteoarthritis to rotator cuff injuries, meniscus tears, tennis elbow, muscle strains, tendonitis and tendinosis, plantar fasciitis, nonunion fractures, compression nerve injuries, and many more.

Regenerative Medicine Specialists are skilled in using stem cell therapy not just on its own but also in combination with other regenerative techniques for maximum effectiveness. Depending on the condition our doctors may recommend a particular type of therapy such as lipoaspirate or stromal vascular fraction, or with the use of platelet rich plasma, cytokine, or growth factor therapy.

Tampa Bay Rays’ Alex Cobb Undergoes PRP Therapy For Torn Elbow Ligament

The Tampa Bay Rays’ ace pitcher Alex Cobb has a partially torn elbow ligament that threatens to keep him off the field not just for this season but maybe even all of 2016. The team’s first choice? PRP therapy.

Cobb is currently undergoing two weeks of treatment with platelet rich plasma, as well as resting up. After this period, he’s expected to try and resume pitching to see if the PRP therapy has been enough to heal the injury.

If not, he would likely to have to undergo Tommy John surgery, which would sideline him for most of if not the entire 2016 season.

Reports only recently started coming out that Cobb’s rehab was halted by a diagnosis of a partially torn ligament based on an arthrogram, which is a detailed type of MRI exam, when he visited the doctor where he also had the PRP injection, Dr. James Andrews.

President of operations for the Rays, Matt Silverman, has commented only that the team is currently in “wait and see mode” as a result of the tests and would have a formal announcement soon. Silverman said that discussing the possibility of surgery at this point was “premature.”

The team is continuing to evaluate what their next steps might be, according to Silverman. Currently Cobb’s main focus is getting back to the pitching mound, and hopes are he can do it this season, but they do not currently have a timetable.

PRP treatment

PRP Therapy

Cobb has not yet commented to the media about his injury. The player has been on the sidelines since March 17, where he left a Clearwater game with an injury that was then called a strain or forearm tendinitis.

After several weeks of rest and doing no more strenuous activity for a few weeks than playing catch, by April 24 Cobb started throwing balls off a mound and was hoping to return to his team’s rotation by late May.

Operations president Silverman told the press that Cobb was progressing and feeling comfortable — he had even started “adding intensity” to his pitching — yet “something didn’t feel right.”

The team does not believe that Cobb experienced further injury during his rehab. The more detailed MRI arthrogram requires injecting dyes which can produce complications, which may be one reason the team waited.

Instead, the team has said they are continuing to follow the normal protocols for this type of injury, which started as a forearm strain. Since the forearm is so closely linked to the elbow, there are always concerns with forearm strains.

Pitchers who have remained active in spite of partial tears do have some history of success — the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka as well as Hall of Fame member Nolan Ryan, for example. To be sure there isn’t much risk for the Rays and Cobb to waiting a few weeks to see if the PRP therapy and rest helps heal the injury to the point where he can return at some point in June.

If he has to undergo Tommy John surgery, it’s not likely he’d return until past the 2016 season in any case.

Scottish Rugby Star Rory McKenzie Undergoes PRP Treatment

Scottish soccer player Rory McKenzie recently underwent the same state-of-the-art PRP treatment that tennis star Rafa Nadal used to cure his knee tendonitis — and, like Nadal, McKenzie is back in full training.PRP Treatment

The 21-year-old McKenzie recovered from a two-month break using the same therapy which he previously used to recover from a similar medical problem back in 2012.

In PRP therapy like McKenzie underwent, blood is taken from the system, spun in a centrifuge, sometimes with chemicals like calcium chloride and thrombin, and then subsequently re-injected into the affected area.

“I was trying to play through” the injury, McKenzie told reporters, but eventually “it got to the stage” where he simply couldn’t do it. Some mornings he woke up unable to get out of bed or even move.

Eventually he went to a clinic and had the PRP procedure done, after first trying more conservative therapies which failed to produce results. “The surgeon who gave the [PRP treatment] to me said all the top [soccer] clubs are using it now,” McKenzie noted.

Originally McKenzie had feared that his injury was the result of playing on the artificial turf at his home stadium, which would mean he would likely experience the same problems again and again. Yet he’s observed plenty of players on other teams — who play on natural grass — experience similar issues, so McKenzie feels it was “just bad luck” that he got hurt.

McKenzie Far From The First To Benefit From PRP Therapy

McKenzie isn’t the first athlete to benefit from PRP treatment by any means.

Tiger Woods, New York Giants’ defensive tackle Chris Canty, and Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee (among many others) have used it to treat sore knees, hamstrings, and abdomens respectively.

Tiger Woods received not one but four separate PRP injections in his left knee before he played in all four of 2009’s professional golf majors, this following surgery.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Takashi Saito may have been able to return for 2008’s Major League Baseball playoffs thanks to PRP injections to his elbow.

The theory is that by centrifuging a person’s blood to the point where it contains a concentrated blend of growth factors and plasma cells, then re-injecting it into injured tissue, the mixture will speed healing and improve tissue health. According to some doctors, PRP treatment may enable delivery of healing or growth factors to areas where the body has difficulty supplying them on its own — such as regions like the Achilles tendon.

Lab studies have shown that when scientists used surgery to produce lesions in lab animals’ tendons or other tissues, the PRP treatment encouraged the tissues to quickly produce new blood vessels and collagen. Professional athletes’ testimonials from using the therapy have created a great deal of excitement around the therapy, with sports enthusiasts using it to treat a variety of conditions from back pain to tennis elbow.

In fact, PRP therapy was originally used to help speed bone healing and soft tissue recovery following spinal injuries and plastic surgery. It wasn’t until around 2008 that it started seeing wide use for sports injuries, after the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward used it right before they won the Super Bowl. As a result, more and more patients started asking about the therapy.

How We Treat Knee Joint Pain

The PRP or stem cell treatments we use at Regenerative Medicine Specialists can help treat a variety of knee joint pain issues without needing surgery or steroid injections. Our procedures happen in the office, usually on a same-day basis, and hospitalization is not required.

Because the therapies we use are aimed at allowing your body to regenerate damaged tissue, they can treat many different conditions without the side effects or risks associated with normal treatments.

We consider this to be groundbreaking technology — it addresses the main, underlying condition, instead of simply trying to treat the symptoms.

When it comes to the knee itself, there are many different structures which are vulnerable to either chronic degradation or acute injury: bones, menisci, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and bursae.

Until now, patients with knee joint pain for whom conservative treatments like rest and ice failed to produce results could only turn to steroid injection, surgery, or addictive opioids.

PRP and stem cell treatments, on the other hand, help relieve the pain, restore normal function, and do it without many of the problems posed by other therapies.

Treating Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Syndrome)

Runner’s Knee, more properly known as patellofemoral syndrome and sometimes also called Jumper’s Knee, is the most common knee problem overall. Athletes of all types may be diagnosed with it, and heavier or older patients sometimes develop this condition also.

knee painPatellofemoral syndrome has to do with a feature that makes the knee unique in the body. In the knee, the patella (commonly called the kneecap) is placed over the anterior surface. On the underside of the patella is a layer of cartilage which helps the patella slide over the knee joint’s distal femur when the quadriceps muscle contracts to extend the knee.

Commonly, patients develop tendonitis on the patellar tendon or arthritis on the patella underside which is very limiting and painful when it comes to mobility. Non-regenerative technique often fail to provide enough sustained relief, leading patients to feel surgery is their only option.

Yet with stem cell and PRP treatment, we can enable the body to repair itself — an option which provides effective and lasting relief.

Arthritis in the Knee

Especially for patients over age 45 and patients who are overweight, osteoarthritis of the knee is a very common condition.

It is a degenerative condition, “wear and tear,” and in this condition the knee’s cartilage becomes damaged or lost in time. The bones begin grinding together directly, which triggers reactive bony overgrowth as well as reduced mobility and serious pain. The pain tends to be much worse while performing activities, though it may be present even when resting.

Knee trauma may accelerate the development of osteoarthritis and trigger premature arthritis in younger patients.

Traditional treatments like hyaluronic acid injection or steroids can sometimes give temporary relief, but many patients eventually need a total knee replacement surgery. This involves significant post-operative pain as well as a prolonged recovery.

Thanks to PRP or stem cell treatments, however, it’s often possible to avoid a major procedure.

Our treatments use the body’s own cells to regenerate tissues in the joint, alleviating dysfunction and pain. Since the treatment is done on an outpatient basis, there is also no hospital stay.

Will PRP Help Me?

Platelet Rich Plasma injectionsPlatelet rich plasma injections, or PRP, represent an exciting approach to healing injuries and wounds. It’s a form of regenerative medicine that entered the popular consciousness when Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver Hines Ward was treated with PRP in 2009 right before the Super Bowl; without it, Ward probably would not have been able to play.

Of course, PRP is not just for sports stars, and the doctors at Regenerative Medicine Specialists have been applying it successfully to patients with ligament strains, tendonitis, muscle strains, arthritis, and more.

What Makes PRP So Useful?

PRP is a powerful, effective, and affordable way to treat a variety of conditions because platelets contain many different growth factors which stimulate tissue growth. (Platelets themselves are a normal type of blood cell which works to help stop bleeding and speed healing in the event of an injury.)

These growth factors help bring in undifferentiated cells (stem cells) to the injury area, and help stimulate their growth. Another component, known as stromal cell derived factor 1 alpha, helps these newly recruited cells adhere to the injured area.

PRP does not stop there, however. When a PRP injection is combined with stem cells harvested from bone marrow or fat, the PRP actively encourages the stem cells to multiply and grow quickly, further driving healing. Platelet rich plasma injections also stimulate collagen growth — collagen being the main component in connective tissues like cartilage and tendons.

In other words, PRP (particularly combined with stem cells) helps accelerate the healing process into “overdrive.”

How PRP Works

A PRP injection needs to be prepared so it includes as many platelets as possible and a high concentration of growth factor. The more growth factors which can be delivered to the area, of course, the more likely it is that healing will take place.

PRP intentionally does the opposite of what more traditional treatments aim to achieve. Treatments with steroid injections and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) primarily aim to reduce the inflammation in the area, which unfortunately impedes the process of healing.

The PRP itself is prepared by drawing blood from the patient and then spinning the blood in a specially designed centrifuge which separates out the platelets. Generally 20ccs of blood from the patient yield just 2-10cc worth of platelet rich plasma.

The platelet rich plasma is then injected into the area with damaged tissue. The injected PRP draws macrophages (the white blood cells) to clean out damaged tissue, and the body forms a protein matrix which gives new tissue a place to attach. Fibroblasts come in to form strong, new collagen fibers for rebuilding any damaged ligaments, tendons, or cartilage. Stem cells come in, too, and differentiate themselves into whatever tissue needs to be healed.

The whole process happens naturally over a period of a few weeks.

Benefits of PRP

PRP has some major advantages compared with traditional therapies. It’s an in-office, outpatient procedure that takes around an hour, with little need for rehabilitation or downtime.

There is no surgery. It simply uses components of your own blood to achieve stronger natural healing. As a therapy it is effective enough that many major sports teams use it as a first-line treatment for their athletes.