What are PRP injections and tissue therapies?
Our orthopedic doctors utilize platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections and tissue therapies from fat, bone marrow and/or amniotic membrane suspension allograft to help decrease pain and keep you active.
What are platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections?
PRP injections use your own plasma, platelets and modulating factors (which are inside the platelets) to promote a healthier joint environment. There are different kinds of PRP injections, some with low white blood cell count and some with high white blood cell count. Each is used for different applications. These injections have been shown to create a less inflammatory environment in the injured body part, which can result in less pain and improved function.
Blood is composed of a fluid component called plasma that can be separated from the small, solid components (red cells, white cells and platelets). PRP simply means the prepared plasma has more platelets per volume than the patient’s own whole blood. The concentration of platelets can be two to ten times greater (or richer) than the patient’s blood.
Platelets are one of the first biologic products to reach an injury. Their first function is to participate in sealing the injury with a clot. During the blood clot formation, they release over 1,500 biologically active proteins, including both growth factors and “signaling” factors (that recruit adult tissue-specific cells to aid in the repair process). These factors aid in initiating the healing response at a site of injury and when used as an injection can improve the balance of the inflamed joint.
Read Article: Can PRP injections decrease your knee pain?
What are tissue and cell therapies?
“Stem cell injections” are widely and improperly promoted. In the field of orthobiologics, the cells (previously termed mesenchymal stem cells), can be found in the bone marrow, muscle and adipose tissue (fat).
At OrthoIndy, we offer PRP injections and an alternative using adipose tissue called Lipogems®.
Should I have a PRP injection or tissue and cell therapy?
While both PRP injections and tissue and/or cell injections are non-surgical treatments used to potentially preserve the joint or restore function, they are not the same treatment. PRP injections, which are more common, are derived from the blood while tissue and cell injections are derived from bone marrow or adipose tissue (fat).
According to sports medicine physician, Dr. Jonathan Shook, the type of injection used is dependent on the type of injury. “PRP injections may be able to aid in initiating a body’s healing response, although they have no ability to regenerate tissue,” he said.
Depending on your injury or condition, your doctor may choose to use a specific type of injection. Or if you received a PRP injection and it was not successful, then another tissue and cell therapy may be an option.
Am I a candidate for orthobiologics?
How do you know if orthobiologic therapies are right for you? Answer the following questions to see if you are a candidate for PRP injections or tissue therapies.
- Do you have a tendon injury or arthritis (osteoarthritis)?
- Has anti-inflammatory medication failed to relieve your pain?
- Did bracing fail to work?
- Has physical therapy failed to help relieve pain and restore function?
- Have cortisone injections failed?
If you answered "yes" to all of the above, then orthobiologics may be right for you. Your OrthoIndy doctor will work with you to determine the best course of treatment for your specific injury.