Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet activation plays a key role in the process of wound and soft tissue healing. The use of PRP, a portion of the patient’s own blood having a high platelet concentration to promote healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints, can be applied to various musculoskeletal problems.
At Rehabilitation Consultants all PRP injections are Ultrasound guided and done at the office. The doctor will first draw a specific volume of the patient’s own blood. The blood is then centrifuged and the activated platelets are injected into the abnormal tissue releasing growth factors that recruit and increase the proliferation of repair cells.
Several clinical studies have demonstrated that PRP injections have improved function and decreased pain to various maladies including but not limited to: elbow, wrist, fingers, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle tendinosis. Recent work also shows great promise for osteoarthritis.
The side effects of PRP are very limited as the patient is utilizing their own blood, which they should have no reaction to. Some relative rest is needed immediately following the procedure, usually followed by a progressive stretching and strengthening program.
For more severe problems such as osteoarthritis of joints, we must create a bigger response and provide more assistance to the body by delivering larger numbers of stem cells into the affected area. This is accomplished by injecting stem cells from adipose tissue or bone marrow directly into the area.
Stem cells are rudimentary cells that can differentiate into mother cells of the body. Mesenchymal stem cells are the cells that repair and regenerate muscle, bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments and the richest source of this types of cells is found in adipose tissue or fat.
At Rehabilitation Consultants all these injections are done in the office under ultrasound guidance. The doctor will initially harvest fat from the lower abdomen or flank (love handles), then centrifuge and combine it with PRP for injection.
Bone marrow is also a rich source of stem cells and harvesting is usually done from the back of the pelvis (iliac crest). The procedure is done in the office and very similar to the described above.