Join our free webinar to learn about PRP, an innovative non-surgical treatment option for osteoarthritis and other orthopedic conditions.
Dr. Mary Ambach specializes in non-surgical orthopedics, regenerative therapies, and interventional pain management. As a key thought leader in the field of Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Ambach conducts research, trains physicians, and lectures at international medical conferences.
Dr. Christopher Rogers is one of the world’s leading experts in orthopedic regenerative medicine and a renowned speaker at national medical conferences. He has developed new approaches for the treatment of tendon injuries, osteoarthritis, and disc degeneration which provide a safe and viable alternative to surgery.
A patient of Dr. Christopher Rogers, Kristi Plume, has had successful PRP injections for two separate injuries. A torn rotator cuff was healed within 2 months of receiving the injection, by healing the tendon. Within 2-3 after the injection, Ms. Plume was pain free and able to resume full use of her shoulder and arm.
Only months later, Ms. Plume underwent PRP injections to treat osteoarthritis in both of her knees. The injections allowed her to get back to doing what she loves:
I’ve received PRP treatments from Dr. Rogers twice now for 2 different injuries. The first injury, a torn rotator cuff, completely healed within 2 months of receiving the PRP injection. It was quite fascinating to see the “before” and “after” ultrasound pictures, whereas the “before” showed a moderate tear and the “after” showed nothing but a healed tendon. Moreover, I was pain free and able to resume use of my shoulder/arm within 2-3 weeks from the date of the procedure. The first procedure was so successful, I underwent a PRP procedure again a few months ago for osteoarthritis in both of my knees. The PRP treatments have quite literally changed my life by allowing me to return to the active lifestyle I’ve always enjoyed. In addition, I avoided costly surgery, long-recovery times, and permanent, long-term pain and discomfort. I have full use of both my shoulder and knees without pain or discomfort. Dr. Rogers has a flawless bedside manner and he and his team of professionals deliver first class service to make their patients feel truly cared about. I cannot recommend San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group enough.
Kristi Plume has use of her shoulders and knees without any pain or discomfort.
What’s the Difference Between Platelet Rich Plasma and Cell Based Therapies?
Regenerative medicine therapies are increasingly being used for people with painful orthopedic conditions. Commonly used orthobiologics include platelet rich plasma (PRP) and other cell based therapies.
Platelet rich plasma therapy includes the concentration of platelet cells from a patient’s own blood. These cells deliver hundreds of growth factors which facilitate the body’s ability to control inflammation, decrease pain and promote tissue healing.
Adult Stem Cells are found in every tissue in the body. A patient’s own bone marrow and fat tissues contains precursor cells called mesenchymal stem cells that have the ability to develop into new cells and repair damaged tissues. These cells also reduce pain and inflammation.
So What’s the Difference?
Many patients ask, “If both platelet rich plasma and adult stem cell therapy help with healing and inflammation, why choose one over the other?”
The fact of the matter is each treatment offers unique benefits. An experienced regenerative medicine specialist knows that several key factors are important when determining which treatment will provide the best outcome for you.
These considerations include:
· The severity of the medical condition being treated (e.g. mild, moderate or severe)
· The location of the injury (e.g. spine or joint)
· The type of tissue requiring treatment (e.g. bone, tendon, cartilage, disc or muscle)
· The patient’s age and overall health, including any other medical conditions.
Knowing How PRP is Different Than Cell Based Therapies
Many clinics claim to offer stem cells or platelet rich plasma treatments, however, the effectiveness of these treatments and experience level of the physicians varies widely from one clinic to another.
· Treatments that use donated tissues such as umbilical cord blood, amniotic tissue and exosomes are not permitted under current FDA guidelines. These products are NOT to be used in orthopedic conditions, because they have not been tested for safety or efficacy.
Only autologous biologics such as your own blood, bone marrow and minimally manipulated fat are compliant with current FDA guidelines for safety and efficacy.
· Dose matters. The number of cells obtained is determined by the method used. The best results are achieved when your physician uses advanced tissue processing methods to produce highly concentrated platelet rich plasma or mesenchymal stem cells. It takes your physician years to master the skill of cell harvesting for maximal benefit.
· To ensure the safe, effective and comfortable delivery of cells into the damaged tissues, a fellowship trained physician should use advanced image guidance using diagnostic ultrasound or x-ray (fluoroscopy). Physician assistants, naturopathic doctors, chiropractors and nurses do not complete this level of training.
When considering treatment with regenerative medicine, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of the different options. Be aware that treatments vary among different clinics and outcomes are determined by physician experience and the methods used to deliver these treatments. Be sure to ask your physician about their training, experience and whether or not they document their patient outcomes.
When done properly, cell based therapies significantly help patients to heal quickly and completely allowing them to enjoy an active life without pain.
Drs. Christopher J. Rogers and Mary A. Ambach of San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group have successfully treated thousands of patients with platelet rich plasma and other cell based therapies for more than a decade. Their facility in Carlsbad contains the most advanced Regenerative Medicine technology in San Diego and offers same day treatments with the highest documented levels of safety and efficacy.
The liquid portion of blood called plasma has been used for several years to help patients facing life-threatening conditions such as immune deficiency disorders and organ transplantation. Because it has helped treat so many chronic and rare diseases, it has been referred to as “the gift of life.”[i]
More recently, physicians have discovered that a patient’s own plasma and its’ cells can help expedite the recovery from orthopedic injuries. Platelet rich plasma treatments, known as PRP, use the healing power of platelets to harness growth factors and other proteins that are essential for healing.
How Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment Works
Blood is comprised of red blood cells, white blood cells,platelets and plasma. The plasma contains hormones, electrolytes and nutrients that are needed to nourish cells during the healing process.
During platelet rich plasma treatment, the patient’s own blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge machine where the platelets are separated and concentrated. This results in a PRP solution that contains up to 10 times more platelets than that typically found in blood.[ii] With its super-charged healing capabilities, platelet rich plasma can be used to treat a number of orthopedic conditions, including:
· Joint arthritis (knee, shoulder, hip, thumb or spine)
· Injured tendons like rotator cuff tendon, Tennis elbow and Achilles tendon
· Ligament sprains in the wrist, ankle or sacroiliac joints
· Carpal tunnel syndrome
· Degenerated discs, mild spinal stenosis and sciatica
Not All PRP Treatments Are the Same
When it comes to platelet rich plasma treatment, one size does not fit all. Several factors can influence the success rate of treatment:
· The patient must receive an accurate diagnosis.
· Image guidance with ultrasound or fluoroscopy (x-ray) for targeted delivery to the injured tissues is necessary.
· The PRP formulation must be customized to the specific injury being treated.
· The initial injury severity must be considered.
When administered appropriately and in the right formulation for the specific injury, most patients begin to experience results within four to eight weeks after platelet rich plasma treatment. About 10% of patients will feel relief within days.
PRP treatments are performed on an out-patient basis in the physician’s office. There is no need for hospitalization or lengthy rehabilitation. The entire procedure takes less than an hour and patients may typically resume normal activity within days.
Dr. Christopher Rogers of San Diego Orthobiologics Medical Group performed one of the first PRP treatments in San Diego in 2009. He and Dr. Mary Ambach are experts in the field of regenerative therapy for orthopedic injuries. They have successfully treated thousands of patients with PRP and other orthobiologics.
[i] Donating Plasma: What is Plasma
[ii] OrthoInfo: Platelet Rich Plasma
Colleen is an active patient in her 60s who suffered from a partial tendon tear after a traumatic injury to her ankle. Her podiatrist placed her in a boot for weeks, but she continued to have pain and her injury was not healed. She consulted with Dr. Mary Ambach and was successfully treated with Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP).
Dr. Ambach is a very gracious and supportive doctor. I have had an amazing experience with her and am on the way to 100% recovery.
Partial Tendon Tear Success Story:
J.Z. is a woman in her late fifties with severe knee osteoarthritis and meniscus degeneration. Dr. Ambach successfully performed the fat derived regenerative cell and platelet rich plasma (PRP) to treat her symptoms.
My experience was amazing! Dr. Ambach explained everything as she performed the procedure. I would definitely recommend this.
Knee Osteoarthritis Success Story: