Platelet-Rich Plasma and Stem Cell Therapy

Breakthrough Pain relief Clinic is 1 of only a few offices in all of St.Louis to offer this innovative medical solutions.

cool-body-pixkWhat is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?

PRP injections accelerate healing of tendon injuries and reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis naturally without subjecting patients to significant risk. PRP is all natural as it uses your own blood components to help heal your injured tissue. PRP is a cutting edge treatment in a newly developing health sector known as “Orthobiologics.”¬† The philosophy merges cutting edge medical technology with the body’s natural healing capabilities.
PRP uses “Autologous Blood”(your blood) which contains RBC (Red Blood Cells), WBC (White Blood Cells), Plasma, and Platelets. Platelets are responsible for blood clotting but also contain powerful proteins known as growth factors. When these growth factors are activated they accelerate tissue and wound healing. With PRP we are able to concentrate the level of these platelets to deliver a powerful cocktail of these growth factors directly into the injured tissue which accelerates and enhances tissue recovery. By enhancing the tissue recovery athletes can get back to competition quicker, workers can return to work quicker and the average person can return to his or her daily activities faster.

How is PRP done?

Autologous Blood (your blood) is drawn into a test tube. The tube is placed in a specialized type of centrifuge that spins the blood down into a highly concentrated layer of “Platelet Rich Plasma”. While the Centrifuge is spinning the clinician is imaging the area with “Diagnostic Ultrasound”(safe, painless, soft tissue imaging device) to identify the injured tissue. When the centrifuge has completed the concentrating process, this platelet rich layer of plasma is then extracted from the rest of the blood and injected directly into the damaged tissue under Ultrasound Guidance.

Where can PRP be used?

PRP-b4-afterk Most tendons, ligaments, joints and muscles in the body can be treated with PRP. This procedure is commonly performed to treat golfers and tennis elbow (lateral and/or medial epicondylitis).¬† It is also commonly used to treat Rotator Cuff injuries of the shoulder, Osteoarthritis of the knee and “Plantar Fascitis” which is a painful condition in the sole of the foot and or heel. PRP is also commonly used to treat “Bursitis”, “Achilles tendonitis” and certain types of back pain.

Published in Medical Journal, Orthopedics

Recent studies show application of Platelet-Rich Plasma during Total Arthroplasty:

  • Decreases pain and inflammation
  • Reduces length of hospital stay
  • Increases Range of Motion (ROM)
  • Reduces need for blood transfusions
  • Infection control

Platelet Rich Plasma has been used in:

  • Total Knee replacement’
  • Total Hip replacement
  • Spine Procedures
  • ACL Reconstruction
  • Rotator Cuff
  • Hand Surgery
  • Tendonitis
  • Trauma

What is Stem Cell Therapy?

shoulder_getting_injectionkHarnessing your own bodies healing potential.

Stem cell therapy is fast becoming a popular non-surgical option for patients suffering from chronic pain and loss of function for a range of joint and orthopedic conditions.  The majority of patients are familiar with embryonic stem cells and the controversy surrounding their use in research.  However, far more research has been performed on the effectiveness of adult stem cells in aiding  tissue regeneration

Adult stem cells have been shown to have remarkable healing properties for damaged tissue, cartilage, bone, and ligaments.  Normally the body delivers stem cells, platelets and other growth factors to the injured parts of the body naturally when trauma occurs.  However in some cases these natural healing elements fail to reach the damaged area in sufficient numbers to effectively treat the injury.  This failure is particularly prevalent in the joints and other areas orthopedic areas that experience low blood flow or significant trauma.  Stem cell treatments performed at Breakthrough Pain Relief Clinics harvest these healing properties directly from the patients own body and deliver them in concentrated form directly to the pathology.

Cell therapy seeks to harness the natural healing elements of the human body in order to treat chronic pain and restore function for patients suffering from a wide range of musculoskeletal injuries. ¬†¬†The body’s response to injury is a very specific and well documented series of steps collectively referred to as the “Healing Cascade”. ¬†This natural healing process requires a combination of stem cells, blood platelets, ¬†growth factors, and matrix to optimize tissue repair and regeneration. ¬†¬†Stem cells are often referred to as the ‚Äúrepairman‚ÄĚ of the human body. ¬†The hematopoietic stem cell (HSC-CD 34+) is the most common type of stem cell in the human body and is a crucial element of ¬†tissue regeneration in the healing cascade. ¬†The mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) represents another crucial player in the natural healing process. ¬†Mesenchymal stem cells are often used in clinical therapy due to their growth factors and the ability to trigger an innate immune response in damaged tissue. ¬†Both types of stem cells are found in bone marrow and are used in stem cell therapy for a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions. ¬†Blood platelets are an additional critical component in the natural healing cascade that takes place within the human body. Platelets release proteins and growth factors that signal and direct the stem cells in the tissue regenerative process. ¬†If stem cells are the repairman of the human body then blood platelets are the foreman who organize the healing cascade.¬†The use of these bioactive stem cells and platelet rich plasma ¬†to augment and accelerate the natural healing process is considered by many to be a “new frontier” in clinical treatment of many injuries that previously required surgery. ¬†Stem cell therapy is particularly effective in fighting the degenerative effects of joint disease and musculoskeletal injuries in areas that suffer from hypoxia or low blood flow. ¬†Since many joint and musculoskeletal injuries occur in areas that ¬†receive little or no blood flow, the natural healing power of stem cells and platelet rich plasma are not able to reach the damaged area in sufficient quantities to effectively treat the damaged tissue . ¬†At Breakthrough Pain Relief Clinic we give nature a hand by harvesting these elements elements of the healing cascade directly from the patients body, and injecting concentrated stem cells and platelet rich plasma directly into the damaged tissue. ¬†In many cases this gives the patients body a chance to heal naturally and avoid the risks and pain associated with orthopedic surgery.

Stem Cell Procedure

The Stem cell procedure starts with preparing to harvest (BMAC), ¬†or bone marrow aspirate concentrate, from the patient’s pelvis. ¬†The bone marrow in the pelvis contains high concentrations of the adult stem cell and growth factors utilized in stem cell therapy. ¬†Many patients are nervous about this part of the procedure, however¬†our patients¬†have a local anesthetic and will be fully awake for the stem cell procedure.

Once the bone marrow aspirate and blood have been harvested from the patient, the contents are transferred to the centrifuge  for processing.   The centrifuge separates  the stem cells and blood platelets from red blood cells and other tissue creating highly a concentrated paste  which is then prepared for injection into the damaged part of the body.  The facilities in our center are unique due to our access to fluoroscopic guidance, and/or ultrasound guidance in order to ensure maximum precision and comfort during stem cell injections.  Both the harvesting of the stem cells, and the injection of stem cells and platelet rich plasma  are in office same day procedure that can be performed on an outpatient basis.

If you are interested in hearing more about stem cell therapy as an alternative to surgery for your musculoskeletal injury, contact us today at 877-417-1277.