Osteoarthritis and tendinitis are some of the most common diagnoses as we age. Treatments are plentiful from rest, weight loss, drugs, injections, to surgery. Orthobiologics and regenerative medicine is a new field in medicine that uses the body’s resources to treat different diseases. For instance, harvesting your own cartilage, isolating the cartilage cells and stimulating them to reproduce, and then replanting them into a cartilage defect in your own joint. One common area that has gained popularity is using your blood or fat products including bone marrow, amniotic cells, placental tissue and other tissue to harvest stem cells or platelets and placing them into the damaged area. There is a lot of news and marketing in this area, but unfortunately little scientific evidence or confirmatory studies exist. The FDA Stated in 2018, “the assertion that stem cells are intrinsically able to sense the environment into which they are introduced and address whatever functions require replacement or repair whether injured knee cartilage or a neurologic deficit. However, there has been quite a lot of research into the use of platelet cells and this is what we will focus on today. Platelets are mediators of the coagulation process (blood clotting) but they also contain more than 300 bioactive cells and growth factors that help coordinate cellular communication. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is produced from a patient’s blood. But it is crucial to note that not all PRPs are the same. There are issues of the number of platelets, whether they are activated or inactivated, and how many white blood cells are mixed with them.
It has been scientifically shown that for treatment of arthritis in a joint, a concentration of greater than five times your normal platelet count, platelets which are inactivated, and with a low concentration of white blood cells shows the best results. For treating soft tissue, such as tennis elbow, a mixture of five times your normal baseline platelet count which are inactivated and with a high concentration of white blood cells is better. There are now studies showing that PRP injections into the elbow for tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is as effective as surgical treatment. For arthritis, PRP injections have been shown to be a viable treatment, may provide relief for up to 12 months, and have minimal risk.
Am I a Candidate for this Procedure?
Once you come in for your appointment with Dr. Larson, he will perform an examination to determine if you’re a candidate for this procedure. Because this procedure uses properties from your own body, the side effect risks are very low and uncommon.
Will My Insurance Cover it?
This varies from insurance to insurance. Our office will get in touch with your insurance for you to determine the coverage involved with this procedure. If it’s not covered, we can discuss your options further once this has been established.
This treatment has high rates of success in decreasing recovery time. Dr. Larson is always looking for new and reputable ways to improve the lives of his patients and be up-to-date on all the newest medical advances. By choosing PRP treatment, you could drastically improve your recovery time and get back to your active life! To schedule your appointment with Dr. Larson, please give us a call at 435-774-8512.
Get to Know Dr. Larson
With over 12,000 successful surgeries, 19 published articles, and 30 years of experience, Dr. Larson has the experience to give you the quality of healthcare that you deserve. Dr. Larson has made it his life’s pursuit to help people with their musculoskeletal needs. At AOS he has found the perfect match for this desire.