Our own blood and bone marrow contain potent elements that naturally reduce inflammation and promote healing. By utilizing these substances, including platelet rich plasma and bone marrow derived stem cells in qualifying patients, our doctors are able to tap into the body’s own natural resources to either avoid or delay surgery, or improve the outcomes of operative intervention.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) contains a high concentration of platelets and a variable amount of white blood cells (depending on the application). These enhance the body’s natural ability to heal, can reduce inflammation in tendons and arthritic joints, and accelerate the repair of damaged tendons and ligaments.
PRP is an option for patients that have exhausted other conservative treatments (rest, physical therapy, pain medication) but aren’t yet ready for surgery.
The process of utilizing PRP starts with a simple blood draw. After platelets are isolated using a special device called a centrifuge, they are then injected directly into a damaged area. This can be done alone in an outpatient setting or in conjunction with a surgical procedure to help reinforce a repair, speed healing and shorten recovery time.
Studies show that stem cells can have the ability to reduce inflammation and provide important proteins that may promote healing, particularly at the site where they are injected. The cells can be acquired from a patient’s own body or potentially from donated human tissue. Because stem cells have natural healing properties, they may be used to reinforce a surgical repair in the joints, spine, or tendon. More specifically, patients suffering with osteoarthritis, chronic tendon or ligament injuries or cartilage defects, may also benefit from stem cell injections. In order to establish best clinical practices, our office offers these treatments as part of clinical trials when indicated.
Bone Marrow Aspiration
Bone marrow is an abundant resource of stem cells. Extracted from the inner cavity of the pelvis, humerus or tibia, these stem cells provide proteins that can promote healing and decrease inflammation. The product is referred to as bone marrow aspirate concentration (BMAC).
Once extracted, the bone marrow is spun in a special device called a centrifuge so that the stem cells separate from other components. The isolated cells are then injected into the area of concern. The procedure can be performed in tandem with a surgical procedure or alone in an outpatient setting. There is increasing evidence that using bone-marrow-derived stem cells along with existing surgical techniques may improve outcomes, particularly for patients undergoing revision procedures. Surgeons at MOR are actively engaged in BMAC research to demonstrate improved healing in patients with rotator cuff tears and knee meniscus tears and osteoarthritis.