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  • Writer's pictureDr. Terrell Joseph

Stem Cell Treatments Q & A

Updated: Feb 18, 2020

Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Platelet Rich Plasma

Using your own cells to aid and abet the recovery process is the thinking behind regenerative medicine. When people think of regenerative medicine, they think stem cell therapy (specifically, mesenchymal stem cell therapy MSC).

However, under the umbrella of regenerative medicine, we also have another popular non-surgical option know as PRP (platelet-rich plasma).

What Conditions Are Treated With Regenerative Medicine?

Although regenerative medicine is still in its relative infancy, there is evidence in some people that it can bring relief in the following areas:

  • Tendonitis

  • Preventing Scar Tissue

  • Dealing with Pain/InflammationOsteoarthritis

What are mesenchymal stem cells (MSC)?

These are "undifferentiated" cells. A unique attribute of MSCs is that they can morph into cells with different structures. MSCs are found throughout the body, but we see a higher concentration of MSCs in the bone marrow.

How Are MSCs Used?

We can extract these stem cells and inject them into problem areas where we want to build the surrounding tissue. The remodeling process can be aided by the presence of these new stem cells. For instance, areas of degraded articular cartilage may be "plugged" with the stem cells, staving off early arthritis.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) - What is It?

When we process blood, we end up with a concentration of anti-inflammatories and growth factors we call PRP. How is this done? By spinning a bit of the patient's blood in a centrifuge, we separate the blood into three isolates.

They are:

  • Platelet Poor Plasma

  • (PPP)Platelet Rich Plasma

  • (PRP) Red Blood Cells (RBC)

After these are separated, we take the PRP and can use it to treat many different types of orthopaedic injuries.

This method is used fairly commonly because we can use the PRP to decrease pain an swelling while also aiding soft-tissue growth.

Should I Use PRP or MSC Therapy?

We are quite optimistic when it comes to regenerative medicine. That's why we offer the treatments to many of our surgical patients. I definitely see a bright future and present for stem cell and MSC therapy.

Although you may have to pay out of pocket for these treatments since insurance most likely won't cover it, there are times when we include it within our surgical procedures.

Make sure to ask about MSC and PRP therapy before you have your surgery.

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