Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), the leading regenerative medicine, is the cutting edge of the medical world and continues to prove its resourcefulness. With very minimal side effects and a quick turnaround time, medical professionals utilize PRP across the world. However, prior to the PRP explosion, physicians generally used cortisone injections to relieve moderate to severe muscle/joint inflammation and (some) pain.
So how exactly does cortisone stack up against PRP? Let’s take a look.
Regenerative Medicine vs Cortisone:
With PRP injections, physicians now alleviate inflammation, pain, and heal damaged tissue all that the same time. It is part of the healing process and what makes regenerative medicine so unique as a treatment. The only other treatment that currently offers the same type of outcome is Bone Marrow Concentrate (BMC) therapy – a stem cell treatment.
Despite their differences, both cortisone and PRP provide patients with some level of pain relief. Corticosteroids, the substances that make up a cortisone injection, have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. They are often recommended for patients suffering from joint pain. For example, cortisone is commonly injected into the damaged joint, tendon, or bursa.
While corticosteroids appear to be fine for general usage, studies suggest repeated use of cortisone may cause deterioration of the cartilage within the joint. While there are other risks associated with corticosteroids, they appear to be in extreme cases. Therefore, physicians will usually limit the number of shots a patient can receive.
While there are similarities between cortisone and PRP injections, cortisone only masks pain. PRP injection, on the other hand, repairs the injured tendon / joint. The healing properties found in PRP injections encourage cellular growth and tissue regeneration.
PRP injections use the patient’s own blood to treat the injured site. Since our blood contains bioactive proteins that promote and manage the healing process, risks for the treatment are very minimal. Whereas cortisone will initially relieve pain at a faster rate, PRP will heal the injury and relieve pain over the course of 2 to 6 months after the initial injection.
Bone Marrow Concentrate (Stem Cells):
Bone marrow concentrate (BMC) is fairly similar to PRP therapy in the way that the procedure is conducted. However, BMC differs from platelet-rich plasma in one major way: BMC uses adult pluripotent stem cells to heal your pain.
The procedure includes a specialist removing stem cells – usually from the hip bone – and centrifuging the contents. Like the process of PRP, the centrifuge separates the content into divisions. It is injected, using an ultrasound for guidance, into the injured site.
Like platelet-rich plasma, bone marrow concentrate offers a number of compelling advantages:
- It is an autologous (using the patient’s own properties) approach to pain relief
- The focus is on healing and regeneration and not temporary fixes
- BMC is very minimally invasive (everything is done with needles, ultrasound, or x-ray machines)
- All BMC and PRP procedures are outpatient treatments
- BMC utilizes only natural substances to healing
- May be a viable alternative to surgery
- Ideal for young patients with damaged joints who may be too young for joint replacement
If you are interested in learning more about PRP, BMC, and regenerative medicine as a whole, contact us at 201.729.0001 or by filling out this online form. We have clinics in West Orange, Aberdeen, and Lyndhurst. We also offer weekday and weekend appointments.