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Platelet rich plasma and Stem cells are newer powerful treatment options for joint, tendon, and ligament injuries. They are lower risk treatments that utilizes your body’s own cells to help treat an injury or chronic pain. You likely are hearing more and more about these treatments in the lay press. But not all regenerative treatments are made equally. Like most things in life, quality varies between available options. So how can you tell if you’re getting the best possible regenerative treatment available?  Here are a few things to consider.

1. Is your treatment regimen personalized based on the severity of your condition and other medical issues, or are you getting treatment that comes from a one size fits all kit system. The only way you can get a personalized solution is if your provider uses a lab based production system rather than working with a generic kit developed from a medical device maker.

2. Platelet rich plasma should have lots of platelets, not lots of red blood cells. If your PRP is blood colored rather than a nice amber color, you are getting lots of red blood cells injected back into you. The problem with this approach is that you want the right sort of inflammation, not the wrong inflammation being produced during a PRP treatment.  Platelets create the right sort, too many red cells create the wrong sort.

3. Are you getting a high enough concentration of platelets reinjected? Many of the off the shelf PRP kits use a low concentration of platelets. This defeats the purpose of PRP since you really want to use a very high concentration of platelets to get the best possible chance of kick starting your healing process.

4. Is your provider committed to non-surgical treatments for musculoskeletal injuries, or is this an occasional and half hearted attempt to treat your condition. For those practitioners who take non-surgical management of orthopedic injuries seriously, considering injectable, nutritional, hormonal, physical therapy, and bracing issues are all considered. Maximizing your ability to heal requires a total body perspective, not someone who looks at you as an injured joint alone.

5. Is your regenerative treatment coming from a provider who is searching in the dark, or is she part of professional organizations that actively are refining existing regenerative techniques, and constantly trying to pursue newer and better avenues of treatment.  The Regenexx network is a great example of this.

6. Does your provider use only some regenerative treatments but not others.  Does he use PRP for all injuries, or does he also incorporate even more advanced methods such as stem cells. Make sure you’re getting the right and most appropriate regenerative treatment given the severity and nature of your problem.

There are a lot of things to consider when you pursue a regenerative treatment. If you spend weeks considering multiple different variables before you purchase a car, you should consider all the relevant variables in deciding what treatment and with whom you want to pursue treatment for your pain.


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