Stem cell therapy and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) are regenerative medicine treatments that relieve pain and promote healing. While stem cell therapy is an emerging field, PRP has been used for years to accelerate healing after orthopedic surgery. Matthew Root, DO, at Innovative Pain and Spine Center in the North Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, offers both types of regenerative medicine therapies, using each patient’s own cells to treat injuries and degenerative joint disease. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Toluca Lake or use the online booking feature.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a type of regenerative medicine therapy that uses your own platelets to accelerate the healing of any injuries.
Platelets are normal constituents of your blood, where they’re best known for stopping bleeding when you’re injured. But they also have another essential role. Platelets are packed with proteins called growth factors.
When platelets reach the site of injured tissues, they release growth factors. Then the growth factors trigger healing, regulate inflammation, recruit stem cells, and help build the supporting matrix for new tissue growth.
Dr. Root makes PRP in the office by drawing a sample of your blood and processing it in a centrifuge. The centrifuge separates the different components in your blood, including platelets, red and white blood cells, and plasma, creating a concentration of platelets that’s 5-10 times greater than normal.
The concentrated PRP is drawn into a syringe and immediately injected at the site of your injury.
Stem cells are responsible for regenerating the tissues needed to heal your injuries. Throughout your life, adult stem cells self-replicate and produce new cells that develop into one of many different types of tissues.
Bone marrow is one of the best sources of adult stem cells called mesenchymal stem cells. Dr. Root produces bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) using a narrow, hollow needle to draw a bone marrow sample. He usually takes bone marrow from your hip, but it can come from other bones.
Your bone marrow is processed to separate and concentrate the stem cells, creating your own BMAC. Then Dr. Root injects the BMAC together with your PRP to promote healing.
Mesenchymal stem cells regenerate blood cells, muscle, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, collagen, and fat cells. As a result, BMAC combined with PRP is often used to improve healing and relieve pain in conditions such as:
This is only a partial list, however, because BMAC and PRP help heal many conditions that cause back, neck, knee, hip, and shoulder pain. This therapy is especially beneficial when you have a severe injury, a slow-healing wound, or an injury in an area with a low blood supply.
If you need help with an injury, arthritis, or ongoing pain, regenerative medicine can help. Call Innovative Pain and Spine Center or book an appointment online to learn if you’re a good candidate for stem cell and PRP therapy.