STEM Cell vs. Platlet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

Platlet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

Stem Cell Injections

Stem cells have been used to treat a variety of medical conditions for over 50 years. The mostwell-known stem cell therapy is the bone marrow transplant, the first of which was performedin 1968. The main sources of stem cells are the bone marrow and adipose tissue of adults andembryonic and placental tissues. Evidence suggests that embryonic cells have the ability tobecome more different types of cells than adult stem cells. In addition, adult stem cells are notas durable as embryonic stem cells and may contain abnormalities due to environmental toxins.

Stem cells are the root cells that differentiate into specialized cell types. They first divide intodaughter cells which in turn become more stem cells or specialized cells such as muscle,cartilage, tendon, or ligament cells. The regenerative properties of stem cells also include theirability to target damaged tissue and recruit other healing cells, provide an anti-inflammatoryeffect, decrease scar formation, and inhibit cell death in the injured area. This in turn can allowhealing to occur in a chronically injured or difficult to heal area or speed healing in an acutelyinjured area.

Stem cells may be used to treat osteoarthritis, tendonitis, tendon tears, muscle tears or injuries,and ankle sprains.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet rich plasma is procured from the patient’s own blood after collection by spinning itdown in a centrifuge to separate the red cells from the white plasma. The plasma containsplatelets, growth factors, glucose, nutrients and antibodies that promote healing of injuredtendons, ligaments and muscles. PRP speeds healing and improves the health of thesurrounding tissue by releasing growth factors and proteins that regulate cell division, stimulatetissue regeneration, promote healing, as well as clotting blood.

PRP was used as early as 1990 in plastic surgery where it was injected into injured tissuereleasing growth factors that recruit and increase proliferation of reparative cells and stimulateproduction of collagen. PRP can be used in chronic or acute injuries because it can create oroptimize an inflammatory response. For this reason it is important to avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications before and after injection with PRP. After care includes bracing orimmobilization of the injected limb, rest, ice, elevation and physical therapy.

If you have a long standing non-healing foot or ankle injury or a new injury keeping you fromyour favorite activities, come to the The Beltsville Foot & Ankle Center and ask us whichtreatment is right for you!

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