What’s The Difference Between PRP Injections and Stem Cell Therapy?

This Blog Covers:

  • Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections are a relatively new treatment option for patients with chronic pain, a musculoskeletal condition, or post-surgical wound.

  • American Spine is one of the few practices in the area that offers PRP injections for patients after spine surgery. The team has witnessed great success with this treatment option.

  • In this blog, the spine specialists at American Spine discuss the difference between PRP injections and stem cell therapy.

If you’ve heard of PRP, there’s a chance you’ve heard of stem cell therapy too. These therapies have been incredibly effective at mitigating chronic pain, musculoskeletal conditions, and post-surgical healing. While this treatment technique is widely used in many other countries, it’s still a “new” concept for physicians in the United States. Why?

Generally speaking, there are stricter regulations for medicine in the United States compared to other countries. This ensures patient safety and treatment efficacy. Regardless, a number of studies have been conducted on both therapies, and more often than not, the results come back astounding.

First, for those unfamiliar with these treatment approaches, PRP injections and stem cell therapy are two revolutionary techniques that use the body’s own healing properties to repair damaged tissue.

For PRP, blood is removed from the body and placed into a centrifuge where its components are separated. Platelets and plasma are extracted from the machine and injected into areas of the body that require a healing “boost.” Stem cell therapy works in a similar fashion, but instead of removing blood, stem cells are taken from bone marrow in the hip to be harvested and later injected back into the body.

Both therapies are highly effective in treating the following injuries or conditions:

  • Muscle injuries (i.e. hamstrings, biceps, triceps, quadriceps tears or sprains)

  • Ligament injuries (i.e. ACL, MCL, LCL tears or sprains)

  • Tendon injuries (i.e. tendonitis, rotator cuff tears, etc.)

  • Golfer’s and Tennis elbow

  • Degenerative conditions (i.e. arthritis, degenerative disc disease, etc.)

  • Neck and back pain

  • Nerve injury

  • Post-surgical wound healing

  • Stress fractures

  • Burns, skin graft donor sites

Many patients affected by the above-mentioned conditions tend to ask what the differences between the two treatments are. Simply put, PRP injections may be considered a “diluted” version of stem cell therapy. Both treatment techniques work in similar ways to treat an injury or pain, but stem cell therapy generally completes the task quicker than PRP injections. As a result, stem cell therapy typically costs more than PRP injections do. Therefore, if you’re in a bind financially, it may be more cost-effective to use PRP injections.

Either therapy may also be recommended for patients with an increased risk of post-surgical complications. Because the techniques use the patient’s own blood and bone marrow, there is a much lower risk of infection compared to other therapies. In the end, both promote muscle and tissue healing, and both are effective options for patients wishing to recover quicker from spine surgery. If you’d like to learn more about PRP injections for post-surgical healing, call American Spine today!

At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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Phone: (951) 734-7246


Phone: (951) 734-7246