For the treatment of degenerative conditions and damage of the bones, muscles, and joints, such as arthritis and sports injuries, one relatively new treatment option is regenerative medicine.
Regenerative medicine relies on the natural healing powers of your own body to accelerate or heal injuries. Instead of synthetic drugs or surgery, these methods originate from your own body.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapies are two types of regenerative medicine offered at STAR Spine & Sport. Each patient’s injury or condition requires an individual analysis and a unique treatment plan.
PRP therapy helps cells to repair, whereas stem cell therapy helps cells to regrow. Below are some of the differences between PRP therapy and stem cell therapy.
How Does PRP Therapy Work?
PRP therapy utilizes your own blood to produce a platelet-concentrated serum. The platelet cells in the blood are separated by spinning the blood in a centrifuge. This serum is then injected precisely into the location of an injury using ultrasound guidance.
As with many modern medicinal therapies, exactly how PRP therapy works is not fully understood. However, platelets are indeed known to be an integral part of healing when there is an injury. They are involved in clotting blood, forming scabs on the skin, and further healing processes.
PRP therapy has shown definite therapeutic benefits, including faster healing, when used to treat orthopedic injuries. Patients report reduced swelling and pain following PRP therapy for orthopedic injuries.
How Does Stem Cell Therapy Work?
Since their discovery, stem cells have shown the potential to possibly cure chronic illnesses, regrow missing tissue and organs, and more. At STAR Spine & Sport, stem cells that are used to treat musculoskeletal injuries and other conditions are autologous, meaning the cells are taken from the patient’s own body. We do not use stem cells from donors or outside sources.
Although stem cells are located sporadically throughout the body, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are found in high concentrations in the bone marrow and in adipose (fat) tissue. These adult stem cells are thought to be mostly dormant until “activated” by a need for cell production, such as to heal an injury or to repair the natural degradation of tissue.
MSCs can differentiate into different types of cells and replicate without limit, as needed. Stem cell therapy in this context especially supports the healing, repair, and production of cartilage in a damaged joint.
Regenerative Medicine versus Surgery
One benefit of regenerative medicine therapies is the safety of the procedures. As the materials used for the treatments come from your own body, there is no risk of rejection.
Since PRP therapy supports rapid healing and reduction of inflammation, it may be recommended for an acute injury like a torn meniscus or injured Achilles tendon. Some great news about stem cell therapy is that it can help old injuries to heal, regardless of how long ago the initial damage was done. Stem cells can create or encourage the regrowth of tissues in joints.
There is limited data from studies on the clinical benefits of stem cell therapy and PRP therapy, largely because this methodology is so new. But the evidence available shows promise, along with the testimonials of patients and our own observations.
Sports Medicine and Rehab in West Denver, CO
STAR Spine & Sports is a specialized orthopedic practice for patients who want to explore advanced treatments for musculoskeletal injuries that do not require surgery. Our doctors are board-certified pain management specialists who utilize the most advanced options to help alleviate patients’ pain using noninvasive or minimally invasive methods.
If you are in the West Denver area and have an orthopedic injury or degenerative condition, trust Star Spine & Sport to provide the best care in the evaluation and treatment of your condition. Our specialists will recommend a treatment plan that utilizes the latest in medical technology and advances, including regenerative medicine.
For an appointment, call our office today at (303) 238-4277 or fill out our simple online appointment request form now. We see patients in three convenient locations in Golden, Westminster, and Denver, and we look forward to serving you.