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January 30, 2019

The Truth About Stem Cell & PRP Therapy

The Truth About Stem Cell & PRP Therapy

If you are looking for a non-invasive treatment for degenerative arthritis, bursitis, tennis elbow, patella tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff tears, muscle injuries, shin splints, or a variety of other musculoskeletal conditions, Stem Cell therapy or PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy may be an option.  Orthopedists are always looking for new and innovative ways to treat their patients.  Stem Cell and PRP therapy both provide a promising method to promote healing without surgery or in addition to a surgical procedure.

lp content imageStem cells are the cells of the body that are undifferentiated, meaning they can turn into other cell types.  Stem cells can be obtained from the umbilical cord, bone marrow, or adipose (fat) tissue.  The stem cells obtained from the embryonic environment are preferred to other types of stem cells, first because the potential of stem cells is thought to decrease with age and second because it can be painful to extract bone marrow.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is plasma with many more platelets than is typically found in the blood. Platelets contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which are very important in the healing process and can therefore stimulate that natural process in orthopedic injuries.  With PRP therapy, the patient’s own blood is drawn, the platelets are concentrated using a centrifuge, and then the PRP is injected back into the injured area.

For both Stem Cell therapy and PRP therapy, the healing process begins immediately after the injection is given.  The patient should start to experience a reduction of pain in 2-6 weeks. For some people, improvement may still be limited after three months.  In these cases, a follow-up injection may be needed.  Many patients will still experience relief up to two years after treatment.

Both Stem Cell therapy and PRP therapy are considered experimental and therefore are not covered by insurance. The cost will vary depending on the volume and type of injection to be given. Consult with one of our doctors at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group to see if Stem Cell or PRP therapy is right for you.

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