What orthopedic conditions can be treated with PRP or adipose (fat) graft transfers?
Medical research demonstrates promising results for the rebuilding of cartilage for patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the shoulders, knees, hips, and thumbs as well as the repair of tendons (including the rotator cuff). Scientific reports reveal smoothing of roughened cartilage, the return of range of motion, and ablation of pain from osteoarthritis. These treatments can be effective for ligament and meniscal tears, tendon injuries, sports injuries, rotator cuff tears, osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, or shoulder, and various spine conditions.
Are regenerative medicine procedures including PRP and fat graft therapy safe?
Yes. PRP and fat transfer techniques have been used for thirty years in surgical, orthopedic, dental, and plastic surgery settings. Because we use your own blood and/or fat there is no risk of a transmissible infection and very low risk of an allergic reaction. The trauma is minimal and so is the resultant bleeding.
How many treatments are required?
The response to treatment varies. Many patients do well with a single treatment but some patients with more severe conditions may require additional injections.
What is the recovery time?
It takes approximately six to eight weeks to respond to treatment. Again, for severe problems some patients require more than one treatment.
How do I know that regenerative medicine is right for me?
If you are suffering from any of the ailments (such as arthritis, injured ligaments or tendons) known to be successfully treated with regenerative medicine, you are likely a candidate for this exciting technology. These procedures are less aggressive and less expensive than surgery. Moreover, they are regenerative versus destructive. Regenerative medicine naturally induces healing with minimal or no scarring and alleviates further degeneration of your tissues. As STAR requires for other procedures, there would be an initial evaluation with Dr. Fortin to determine if regenerative medicine is indicated for you.
Are there any special instructions prior to the injection?
Patients are restricted from the use of blood thinners and anti-inflammatory medications or supplements which prolong bleeding time for one week prior to the procedure and from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for one month after the procedure.
What should I expect after the injection?
There may be an initial increase in discomfort for roughly ten days. However, the positive effects of the injection can often be noticed within the first week. We allow you to return to your activities of daily living following the procedure according to the STAR specific rehab protocol (that we would share with you at the time of your initial procedural evaluation). Certainly, a return to stressful activities before the initial six to eight weeks could result in incomplete healing of treated tissue.
Will my insurance company cover these procedures?
Unfortunately, like so many emerging technologies, insurance companies are unwilling to pay for regenerative solutions. Having said that, if you were to diligently calculate your preoperative, intra-operative and postoperative out of pocket expenses, the cash outlay for regenerative medicine often proves to be substantially lower. Moreover, the complication rate of regenerative medicine pales in comparison and recovery time is minimal.