If you'd like to try new treatments for your knee pain, you could look into PRP injections or stem cell therapy. These treatments are fairly new, and they're showing promise for treating knee pain, so they are worth considering before you undergo surgery as long as your doctor agrees. Here's a closer look at these new types of regenerative medicine treatments for knee pain.
PRP Injections Contain Growth Factors
PRP injections are sometimes called PRP stem cell therapy, but the stem cells are not normally contained in platelet-rich plasma. PRP is made from your blood. Right before the injection is given in your knee, blood is drawn and put in a centrifuge.
As the blood spins, its components separate. This allows the doctor to save the plasma that is rich in platelets to use for the knee injection, and the blood cells and other components of the blood are discarded. The platelets contain growth factors that help your body heal. The growth factors can reduce swelling as cells heal, and that can help with pain in your knee.
Stem Cell Therapy Injects Master Stem Cells
Stem cell injections are similar to PRP injections in that the cells are taken from your own body. However, stem cells are commonly taken from your bone rather than your blood. When injected into your knee, the master cells can become the cells needed to help regenerate damaged tissues.
Your doctor might even recommend both PRP and stem cell therapy. You might have stem cells injected first and then follow up later with PRP injections. It may take some time to notice an improvement in your knee after the injections since you need to allow time for the tissues to heal and the swelling to subside.
PRP And Stem Cell Therapy May Postpone Surgery
While these injections may not bring about complete regeneration of damaged knee tissue, they might work well enough to reduce your pain so you can stay active. This could allow you to postpone knee surgery. The injections are quick to recover from and not uncomfortable to endure, so they could be a better choice than surgery as long as the injections work for you.
Your doctor can help you decide if you're a good match for either of these regenerative medicine injections. They may be worth a try, especially if your insurance helps pay for them. Be sure to check if your insurance covers PRP or stem cell therapy since some providers may not if they consider the treatment experimental.