Knee Pain: PRP or Stem Cell Injections?

Knee injuries are very common and come in many forms. Sprains, strains, inflammation, dislocations, tendon tears, and other forms of knee problems can happen due to just about any type of physical activity that stresses the legs. 

Certain conditions, such as gout, arthritis, and infections, can also contribute to knee pain, and any of these conditions can also lead to stiffness and swelling. But whatever the cause of your knee pain, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy or stem cell therapy may be the nonsurgical solution you need to help you heal faster.

Christopher Clark, MD, and the Premier Spine and Sports Medicine team can help you find a treatment that gets you back on your feet.

How PRP therapy can help

Your blood consists of several components, including red and white blood cells, plasma, and platelets. Platelets are the part of your blood that promote blood clotting, cell growth, and healing. Platelet-rich plasma treatments extract some of these platelets and inject them back into your body at the injury site to speed up healing in that area.

First, your provider draws some of your blood. Then, your blood is placed in a centrifuge where the platelets are separated from the rest of your blood’s components. Then your provider takes the platelet serum and injects it into the treatment area using ultrasound guidance.

How stem cell therapy can help

Stem cell therapy also uses your body to heal itself. In this case, it uses adult stem cells extracted from bone marrow or fat. Stem cells are basic cells that can turn into any cells the body needs. Extracting them and injecting them into injured areas can speed healing.

Injections of stem cells can help reduce inflammation, repair damaged tissue, and may even help prevent knee replacement surgery.

First, some bone marrow or fat tissue is extracted with a needle. Then the stem cells are harvested from the tissue. Finally, the stem cells are injected into the injured area. The process can take up to an hour.

What to expect after treatment

Patients are often instructed to rest the injected area for a few days after either treatment, and soreness and some swelling is to be expected. A cold compress can be placed on the area to help with both of these issues. You should only take pain medications as prescribed by your doctor. Physical therapy and muscle exercises may be recommended to help maintain joint health.

If you have knee pain and want to see if platelet-rich plasma therapy or stem-cell injections can help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Premier Spine and Sports Medicine today.

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