Stem Cell Therapy & PRP Treatment for Sports Injuries
Skip the surgery and get back in the game naturally
As an athlete, the pain of an impact or repetitive strain injury is often trumped by the mere thought of taking weeks or months off to recuperate. Even worse is the fear that you may never play at your optimum level again, or be forced to give up the sport altogether.
But you don’t have to resort to grueling surgery and a long recovery period.
Adult stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments are forms of regenerative medicine, the most exciting development in sports medicine in decades. Major stars such as Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, and Rafael Nadal have reportedly used these types of therapies in recent years. Some sought regenerative medicine as an alternative to surgery, and others used it to recover from unavoidable surgical procedures.
Stem cell therapy injections are minimally invasive and use your body’s innate healing ability to restore damaged muscle, ligament, or cartilage. Whether you’re suffering from runner’s knee, tennis elbow, a minor ACL or other ligament tear, or any other common sports injury, we may be able to return you to peak playing condition with just a few brief office visits.
Regenerative Medicine vs Traditional Surgery
No matter the sport, as an athlete, your body is your most important tool. Even the most minute changes to its structure can have dramatic effects on performance. Unfortunately, surgery can do just that: irreversibly alter your body’s structure, even when the surgery is successful (which is far from guaranteed).
What’s more, the lengthy recovery time for many invasive surgeries actually increases the odds of further injury due to detraining, or deconditioning, and the weakening of other body parts that serve as sources of healthy material during the procedure.
Regenerative sports medicine typically requires considerably less recovery time than surgery. Stem cell and PRP injections are minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that don’t require general anesthesia, lengthy hospital stays, or prescription painkillers.
Additionally, instead of having to overcome the injury and the effects of surgery, our treatments work by repairing and restoring the damaged area using the body’s own healing properties. The goal is not just to reduce inflammation or pain, but to get the joint or tissue all the way back to optimum health and function.
Regenerative Medicine vs Surgery vs Pain Injections - A Comparison
|Stem Cell Therapy (BMC)||PRP||Traditional Surgery||Pain Injections|
|Hospital stay||Not required*||Not required*||Inpatient||Not required|
|Procedure||Minimally invasive||Minimally invasive||Invasive||Minimally invasive|
|Risk of infection||Minimal||Minimal||Yes||Minimal|
|Greater threat to at-risk patients (elderly, diabetic, overweight)||No||No||Yes||No|
|Loss of bone or tissue||No||No||Yes||No|
|Risk of new biomechanical problems post-treatment||No||No||Yes||No|
|Painkillers required post-treatment||No||No||Sometimes||No|
|Time to return to daily activities||1-2 days||1-2 days||2-3+ months||1-2 days|
|Full recovery period||4-12 weeks||4-12 weeks||A few weeks to several months||2-10 days|
|Addresses Underlying Biological Dysfunction||Partially||Partially||No||No|
*Most BMC and PRP procedures occur in a physician's office, but some patients may elect to have them done on an outpatient basis in a surgery center if they prefer non-local anesthesia.
Our Treatment Options to Overcome Injury
Philadelphia PRP and Stem Cell Institute offers two types of regenerative medicine procedures to treat sports injuries:
Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelets from your own blood are concentrated and re-injected, supplying the damaged area with vital growth factors that promote cellular repair.
Stem Cell Therapy (BMC)
Adult mesenchymal stem cells harvested from your hip are re-injected into the problem area where they heal by encouraging new tissue growth and controlling inflammation.
How the Procedures Work
Our regenerative medicine therapies vary slightly in the materials they use and from where they’re derived, but from the patient’s perspective they are quite similar:
Stem Cell Therapy:
As you lie facedown on a table, the doctor extracts bone marrow aspirate from your hip with a special needle. You may experience mild discomfort but the majority of patients tolerate this easily.
To concentrate the adult stem cells and platelets in the marrow fluid into BMC, the aspirate is spun in a centrifuge for up to 15 minutes.
The doctor re-injects the stem cell-rich, concentrated BMC into the area of pain.
The doctor draws a blood sample from your arm, just like in a routine blood test.
The blood we’ve drawn is spun in a centrifuge to separate the growth factor-containing platelets from the other components in the plasma. The PRP is then removed.
With the PRP material prepared, it is injected into the damaged tissue, disc, joint, or tendon, using x-ray or ultrasound guidance, if necessary.
A platelet-rich plasma treatment will seem much like simply giving blood from your arm, except in this case the now-enhanced blood is re-injected at the end.
What Conditions Can Stem Cell Therapy Help With?
Some sports injuries are so common to a particular sport that they are often known by the sport’s name, such as golfer’s elbow or skier’s thumb. These are typically overuse injuries caused by intense repetitive motion, and they are the most common form of injury to young athletes.
Other ailments can strike during strenuous physical activity of almost any kind and tend to be one-off events that are often more serious in nature, such as knee and Achilles tendon sprains and ligament tears. Sports with a lot of sudden stopping, spinning, changing direction, jumping, and landing such as basketball, soccer, and football are frequent sources of these types of acute injuries.
Stem cell therapy can aid recovery for all of these and more sports-related injuries, including:
Ligament strains or tears*
Spine and back: bulging, herniated, or collapsed disc, facet joint pain, spinal stenosis, neck pain, annular tear*
Knees: patellofemoral syndrome (“runner’s knee”), patellar tendonitis (“jumper’s knee”), torn meniscus*, ACL/PCL/LCL sprains and tears*
Elbows: lateral epicondylitis (“tennis elbow”), medial epicondylitis (“golfer’s elbow”), medial epicondyle apophysitis (“pitcher’s elbow”), ulnar nerve entrapment, partial distal biceps tendon tear
Feet and ankles: plantar fasciitis, bunions, Achilles tendonitis, tarsal tunnel syndrome
Hips: sacroiliac joint dysfunction, tendon tear, labral tear*
Hands and wrists: triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) tear*, carpal tunnel syndrome, De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, trigger finger, chronic thumb sprain
Shoulders: rotator cuff tear or tendonitis, recurrent shoulder dislocations, glenoid labrum tear or degeneration, impingement, biceps tendinosis
*Please note: some ligament and cartilage tears may be too extensive to heal completely with BMC injection alone. In those cases, we may recommend a combination of surgical intervention combined with BMC to achieve maximal healing.
Safe & Natural Procedures to Overcome Injury
Because PRP and adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) come from you and are used by you in our treatments, they are inherently much safer than other injections. While they still carry the slight risk of infection or bleeding as all injections, there’s effectively no risk of allergic reaction or rejection of the blood or stem cells.
Both types of therapies are minimally invasive and adhere to all relevant FDA guidelines. The MSC therapy we provide is an FDA-accepted part of the practice of medicine. We produce PRP using 510(k) cleared medical devices, registered and fully compliant with FDA regulations.
Are You a Candidate?
Contact us today to schedule an appointment and hear how a Philadelphia PRP and Stem Cell Institute doctor can help you overcome a sports injury.