What are orthobiologic therapies and how can they help reduce pain?

Dr. Shook may use orthobiologic therapies as a non-operative treatment optionOrthobiologics are natural tissue-derived products that may help injuries such as arthritic joints, broken bones or injured muscles, heal quicker and may help delay major surgery.  

The orthobiologic substances consist of cells, proteins, glycoproteins and complex carbohydrates that are naturally found in the body. When these treatments are used, they may enhance the healing process by decreasing inflammation, pain and stiffness and improving the patient’s ability to function.

What are orthobiologic therapies?

If you are looking to avoid surgery and non-operative treatment options have failed, Dr. Shook may prescribe a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection. PRP injections may help relieve your pain and restore function to the affected joint. 

PRP injections use your own plasma, platelets and their derived factors (which are inside the platelets) to promote a healthier joint environment. Not to be confused with “stem cell” injections, PRP injections are derived from blood.  

Your blood will be drawn and put into a centrifuge to spin and separate the blood components into PRP. Platelets are one of the first biologic products to reach an injury. Their first function is to take part in sealing the injury with a clot. During the blood clot formation, they release over 1,000 biologically active proteins, including “signaling” factors (that recruit adult cells to aid in the repair process). These factors aid in starting the healing response at a site of injury and when used as an injection can improve the balance of the inflamed joint.  

Once the PRP is ready, Dr. Shook will inject it into the affected area. The entire process takes about 30 to 45 minutes and is done in the office and not the hospital. 

Download our guide to platelet-rich plasma injections