Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment VS Stem Cell Therapy Patients who need medical help with pain reduction, tissue healing, tissue repair or bone regeneration are increasingly turning to regenerative medicine. The more researchers explore, the more incredible their results seem. News stories mention a diverse range of conditions, from multiple scoliosis to strokes, that inspire hope for the future of regenerative medicine. Right now, the exciting potential for stem cell treatment seems limitless! Along with the use of stem cells, platelet rich plasma is becoming a viable and more affordable treatment option. Platelet rich plasma therapy has been used for many years in surgical centers worldwide. In the last ten years, doctors have begun injecting platelet rich plasma separate from surgery to aid in the regeneration of tissues. Medical professionals have known for years that platelets play an important role in healing. These very tiny blood components help form a blood clot during injury. Platelets also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors, which are very important in the healing of injuries. When you injure an area like a ligament or a muscle, they seep into the wound during the bleeding that normally occurs. They then set up a blood clot to stop the bleeding and start to release growth factors to the area to coordinate a repair response. The body’s first response to soft tissue injury is to deliver platelet cells. Platelets initiate repair and attract the critical assistance of stem cells. PRP therapy’s natural healing process intensifies the body’s efforts by delivering a higher concentration of platelets. Platelet rich plasma treatment involves a small sample of your blood drawn. This is similar to getting a lab test sample. Afterwards, the sample is placed in a centrifuge that spins the blood at high speeds, separating the platelets from the other components. The concentrated platelet rich plasma is then injected into and around the point of injury. This jump-starts and significantly strengthens the body’s natural healing signal. Because your own blood is used, the concerns associated with finding a matching donor are not applicable to either platelet rich plasma treatments or stem cell therapy. There is no risk of a transmissible infection and a very low risk of allergic reaction. Platelet rich plasma treatment is generally good for helping damaged tissues that could heal on their own given enough time but need to be sped up, either for comfort or safety. While platelet rich plasma treatment may help recruit a few stem cells to the area, stem cell injection therapy is much more advanced. Stem cells are for tissues that are totally beyond normal repair, rather than assisting in the natural healing process. Platelet rich plasma treatment is a revolutionary treatment that relieves pain by promoting long lasting healing of musculoskeletal conditions. This rapidly emerging technique is showing exciting potential with: Shoulder (rotator cuff tendinitis)
Wrist/hand (arthritis, cartilage damage) Elbow (tennis elbow) Hip (arthritis) Knee (jumper’s knee) Ankle/foot (arthritis) Neck (whiplash injuries) Back (lower back pain) If you are a candidate for platelet rich plasma therapy, it is a less invasive option compared to surgery and could provide permanent relief. Platelet rich plasma therapy also offers a lower out-of-pocket cost, lower risk of infection, and shorter recovery period. Platelet rich plasma therapy is an option for patients with moderate osteoarthritis or chronic tendonitis. It cannot recruit enough stem cells to adequately repair an extreme level of injury. The goal of platelet rich plasma treatment is permanent pain resolution. Initial improvement may be seen within a few weeks, gradually increasing as the healing progresses. Research studies and clinical practice have shown platelet rich plasma therapy to be very effective at relieving pain and returning patients to their normal lives. Many famous athletes, like Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal, have received platelet rich plasma treatment for various problems, such as sprained knees and chronic tendon injuries. These types of conditions have typically been treated with medications, physical therapy, or even surgery. Some athletes have credited platelet rich plasma treatment with their being able to return more quickly to competition. Although stem cell treatments are also used to repair injured tissues, the procedures are executed in a different manner. Stem cells are also found in the human body but they play a fundamentally different role in the body’s normal healing process. Stem cells can be converted into any cell that the body needs. The body utilizes stem cells to substitute damaged and/or injured cells. This process allows natural healing and repair of the injured or damaged cells. As the body gets older the amount of natural reserved stem cells starts to decline. This is why the healing process is slower as the body gets older. Stem cell therapy resolves this shortage by injecting supplementary stem cells into the injured/damaged area of the body. This triggers the cell replacement, natural healing, and pain relief. Both stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma treatment require trained medical professionals in order for them to be safely and effectively applied to damaged tissue. If you are in the San Antonio area, consider visiting the Stem Cell Orthopedic Institute of Texas for a consultation on how regenerative medicine can help you.