PRP and Stem Cell Therapy
What is PRP and Stem Cell Therapy?
The Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stem Cell therapy provided at Dr. Tarek Abdel Tawab’s clinic is a point of care treatment that allows for minimal manipulation of cells which are harvested and injected into the treatment area on the same day. This therapy has the potential to help accelerate healing in moderate to severe osteoarthritis, as well as muscle /tendon/ligament injuries.
There are two types of stem cells associated with tissue healing: mesenchymal (MSC’s) and hematopoietic (HSC). These cells act as your body’s repairmen with the guidance of cytokines. MSC’s prepare the injured area for other stem cells to do their work. They travel to the site of injury via the bloodstream and are important, but not as important as once thought. HSC’s are the actual drivers of tissue repair/regeneration and their numbers do not decrease with age, as MSC’s do.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) involves stimulating release of growth factors in an attempt to jump start the healing in chronic injuries as well as aid in acute injury healing. To prepare PRP, a small amount of blood is taken from the patient. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins and automatically produces the PRP. Normal platelet concentration is 200,000 platelets/mcL and PRP can be expected to have a minimum of 4-6 times this baseline(1 million platelets/mcL). There are also growth factors and other proteins present in the PRP that aid in healing.
Obtaining and preparing these powerful regenerative cells is relatively pain free and simple. Following an evaluation and a diagnostic work-up, we can determine if stem cell therapy is an appropriate treatment option for you. We will obtain a bone marrow aspirate (removal by suctioning) from the pelvic bone. Some conditions may need only platelet rich plasma (PRP). Once the cells are ready, they will be injected into the area we are treating the same day.
Once the cells are reintroduced into the injured area along with the PRP, the platelets release growth factors (signal molecules). These growth factors or cytokines, in concert with platelets and stem cells, are responsible for repair of the injured area. This repair process usually takes about 2-3 months, but you may notice reduction in pain and increased function before that time period. Next we will provide follow-up PRP injections at 2 weeks and 4 weeks after the original treatment injection.
These follow-up PRP injections allow the stem cells to continue to repair and regenerate cartilage tissue. In addition to the injections, you will also be instructed to avoid anti-inflammatory medications and to follow a carefully planned exercise or rehabilitation program to enhance the success of the treatment.
What conditions can be treated with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) or Stem Cell Therapy ?
- Cartilage lesions and defects.
- Tendon Injuries Muscle injuries
- Ligament sprains or tears (MCL, LCL)
Low Back and Hip Pain
- Muscle pain or injury
- Pyriformis syndrome
- Greater Trochanteric Bursitis
- Tendon Injuries
- Sacroiliac joint pain
- Hamstring tendonitis or tears
Shoulder and Arm Pain
- Rotator Cuff tendonitis, tendonopathy or partial tears
- Bicipital tendonitis
- Medial and Lateral epicondylitis (golfers & tennis elbow)
- Ulnar Collateral Ligament sprain or tear
Lower Leg and Foot Pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Shin Splints
- Peroneal tendonitis
- Ankle sprains/ligament injury
- Achilles tendonitis or partial tears
Are PRP & Stem Cell injections safe?
Research and clinical data show that ASC and PRP injections are extremely safe, with minimal risk for any adverse reaction or complication. Because the injectable products are produced from your own blood, there is no concern for rejection or disease transmission. There is a small risk of infection from any injection into the body, but this is rare. Of note, recent research suggests that PRP may have an anti-bacterial property which protects against possible infection.
What to expect after your treatment
Often, following the initial injection, an "achy" soreness is felt at the site of injury. This "soreness" is a positive sign that a healing response has been set in motion. This effect can last for few days and gradually decreases as healing and tissue repair occurs.
It is important that anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen and Aspirin be avoided following PRP treatments. These medicines may block the effects of the intended healing response facilitated by the injection itself. It is acceptable to use over the counter pain medication, such as Panadol or Tylenol and in some cases a prescribed analgesic, which does not have anti-inflammatory properties, to control discomfort as needed.
You will be permitted to resume normal day to day activities and light exercise following injection. We suggest that you avoid strenuous lifting or high level exercise for at least several days after injection.