As a longtime Steelers fan, my interest in biologics and regenerative medicine began when wide receiver Hines Ward returned for Super Bowl XL after concentrated blood products were injected into his medial collateral ligament (MCL); he was selected as the MVP just two weeks later.
PRP is platelet-rich plasma obtained by drawing the patient’s blood and concentrating its platelet-growth factors. The PRP is then injected back into the compromised tendon, muscle, ligament or joint. It is ideal for patients suffering from arthritis, partially injured ligaments or muscles, and tendonitis. Patients with serious injuries to their tendons, ligaments, cartilage or bones may require a stem cell procedure. This involves removing stem cells from the bone marrow of the pelvis and injecting the concentrated product back into the compromised body part. Stem cell procedures can safely repair and regenerate cells—unlike cortisone products, which can cause cartilage cell death with frequent use.
When your bones stop growing in your teens, all the natural cartilage cells in the joints are formed and locked into space in the surface cartilage. Any event that breaks the surface cartilage or injures these cells can cause permanent damage and abnormal wearing in the joint, leading to pain and a feeling of looseness—arthritis. Biologics and regenerative therapies give us hope in treating this difficult condition non-operatively.
The answer is a qualified yes. If healing quality and efficiency are important to you, then these treatments are worth the expense.
Dr. Joseph Straight, M.D., is the director of First State Orthopaedics Biologic Therapies Division for musculoskeletal healing and regeneration. He is fellowship-trained in primary care sports medicine and ultrasound-guided injections, and specializes in occupational medicine for firemen, policemen, correctional officers, longshoremen and other active professionals.
Dr. Straight offers scheduled appointments in his New Castle County and Kent County offices, Monday through Friday, and performs event coverage on nights and weekends.
302-731-2888 • www.firststateortho.com
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Delaware Hand to Shoulder Center
4051 Ogletown-Stanton Rd., Suite 103
Newark, DE 19713