Modern medicine has made leaps and bounds in the area of sports injury treatment. Currently, two innovative procedures being offered are stem cell therapy (STC) and platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections. Both of these treatments are capable of repairing and restoring injured tissue but in very different ways.
Stem cell therapy is a technology which uses undeveloped stem cells as a means of treating tissue damage. The harvested immature cells start out unspecific but can be divided and evolved into the specific type of cell needed to replace or regenerate the worn out or injured cells. These powerful healing cells, which can be grown into more than 200 different cell types, are collected from a variety of sources in including embryo and bone marrow tissue. Unlike STC, platelet rich plasma uses blood platelets as the means of treating tissue damage. Blood platelets play a major role in a body’s own healing mechanisms as they carry growth factors directly to injured areas. These growth factors are a naturally occurring substance in the human body which stimulate the growth, rebuilding and repair of tissue. The blood platelets used for the injections are collected from the patient’s own venous blood. While STC shows more promising results in treating osteoarthritis than PRP, platelet rich plasma has shown to be especially effective in younger patients and has a much less complicated method of collection. PRP also has fewer adverse effects, though neither therapy is known to pose a major risk. Studies have also shown that both therapies can be used in conjunction with each other for the successful of many common sports injuries.
Both stem cell therapy and platelet rich plasma injections are known for their safe and effective regenerative benefits. While their sources and methods may differ, both of these biomedical technologies can assist in the treatment of sports injuries with minimal side effects.