Platelet Rich Plasma and Stem Cell Therapy
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
Another non-surgical therapy available to patients with arthritis or tendon injuries is platelet rich plasma therapy also referred to as PRP. This procedure uses the patient’s own blood to harvest growth factors that promote healing of cartilage tissue and recovery of injury tendons. The procedure takes about an hour during which blood is obtain from the patient (phlebotomy) and the sample is then spun down and the platelet rich serum component is harvested and used to inject into the site of tendon or cartilage that is injured. Response takes 6-12 weeks but more significantly injured regions may require more than one injection. Full response time takes about 3 months. While insurance may pay for phlebotomy and the injection procedure, it does not pay for harvesting of platelet rich plasma. The cost of preparation for this is $800.
Stem Cell Treatment as an arthritis treatment alternative to surgery
Stem cell therapy is the procedure where unique cells called stem cells are harvested and injected into areas of damaged tissue. These unique cells are the potential of replacing the damaged cartilage in arthritic joints resulting in the replacement of damaged cartilage. The procedure requires the harvesting of stem cell from abdominal fat or bone marrow, enrichment with platelet rich growth factors, and the reinjection in the damaged arthritic joint. The harvesting of stem cells and enrichment of platelet rich growth factors is not covered by insurance and cost $3,500. Response to therapy can take 3-6 months.