PRP - Platelet Rich Plasma
Regenerative therapy for arthritis is autologous cell therapy, which is a cell therapy using the patients own tissue and blood. Autologus refers to cells, tissues or even growth factors that are implanted into the same patient they came from. This procedure used to be done only in a hospital setting due to the cost. New technology permits a doctor to harvest and produce a sufficient quantity of cells from 30 to 50 cc of blood drawn. It takes 20 minutes to harvest the cells before injecting.
During the healing process, the body rushes many cells to the injected area to accelerate the healing process. Another function is attracting mesenchymal stem cells (which are multi potent stem cells) that differentiate into a variety of cell types; including bone cells cartilage cells and fat cells.
Stimulating stem cells helps to regenerate new tissue. The more growth factors released into the damaged cells, the more stem cells stimulated to produce new host issues.
The process of this regeneration is for a stem cell to attract to the injured or damaged cartilage by chemical signals released from the damaged cartilage that attract stem cells. The stem cells then engraft into the damaged cartilage where new cartilage is formed.
The number of treatments depends on the amount of tissue damage, the size of the area needing to be injected and the patients healing capabilities. Each treatment by itself has its own benefits. People usually need between one and six treatments. There is no down time and people can return to work or their usual activities immediately.
Some patients want to be pain free while others need strength or range of motion, others just want to be able to walk. A functional level of life and doing daily activities can mean so much to those who no longer have it.