Regenerative medicine - a production subset of biologics - is one of the fastest-growing biomedical industries in the world. “Biologics” refers to medical treatment products that are a) designed to treat tissue, cells, and molecules, and b) made with a biological base (i.e. growth factors). Biologics are currently at the center of many orthopaedic care plans due to their ability to support tissue repair and regeneration. These abilities are why these care tools are also available through Prisk Orthopaedics and Wellness. 

At Prisk Orthopaedics and Wellness, we strive to help families address orthopaedic health issues. Dr. Prisk of Prisk Orthopaedics and Wellness is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon who is trained in evaluating musculoskeletal conditions throughout the entire body. His evaluations can focus on joint, bone, tendon, ligament, or muscular pain or injury, and his care methods can involve conservative or operative treatments, in addition to regenerative medicine

To discuss your individual care needs and treatment options, please contact Dr. Prisk at (412) 525-7692 or submit an online appointment request form.


 

FAQs on Regenerative Medicine and Biologics Therapy:

 

What Are Some Key Procedures And Terms I Will Hear When Discussing Regenerative Medicine and Biologics Therapy?

This type of medicine involves the use of some in-depth terminology. Some of those terms include the following:

  • Autologous means that your own normal, healthy cells are introduced into a diseased joint or soft tissue. The process helps to “wake up” the injured tissues, and may help signal them to repair and regenerate.
  • Bone marrow aspirate concentrates refer to a biologic concentrate derived from a patient's own bone marrow. (This procedure is often referred to by some as stem cell treatments.) Bone marrow can be collected and concentrated from your hip bone (iliac crest) under local anesthetic. The result is a concentration of your marrow cells, some of which are stem cells. Some studies suggest that treatments with bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) may be effective in healing chronically damaged tissues and improve symptoms of arthritis.
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), or autologous conditioned plasma, is a concentrate of platelet-rich plasma protein derived from whole blood, centrifuged to remove red blood cells. Platelets are a source of growth factors; and when concentrated in the form of PRP, those growth factors can help to initiate the healing of damaged tissue like tendons, ligaments, and muscles, or reduce the damaging inflammatory environment of an arthritic joint. PRP can be obtained from a peripheral vein blood draw as an alternative (or augment) to the concentration of your marrow cells. 
  • Hormone replacement therapy refers to hormone replacement treatments that can optimize your metabolism and assist in the healing process. Additionally, in some cases, treatment with bio-identical hormone replacement, testosterone or its derivatives, or human growth hormone may help you to heal faster.

 

How Does Regenerative Medicine Compare To Other Nonsurgical Care Options?

One of the most highly touted benefits of regenerative medicine and biologics therapy is its potential for repair and regeneration. This characteristic is in stark contrast to steroid injections, which have a strong anti-inflammatory effect but do not repair or regenerate, and in some cases can actually lead to tissue degeneration.

 

Should I Consider Using These Types Of Therapies?

That depends. In our experience, patients seeking an alternative to surgical treatment for early to mid-stages of arthritis or for certain joint or soft tissue injuries may be candidates for BMAC and/or PRP therapy. PRP in particular can be beneficially used for:

  • Tennis Elbow or Golfer’s elbow (Chronic Lateral Epicondylitis)
  • Knee, Shoulder, and Ankle Arthritis
  • Rotator Cuff Impingement and Bursitis
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Muscle injuries
  • Low-Grade ligament injuries

The effects of regenerative medicine in regrowing cartilage makes it an excellent option for patients between 20-30 years of age whose symptoms stem from cartilage wear and tear. Dr. Prisk has spoken publicly about the successful results we’ve found using BMAC to regrow patients’ cartilage in cases that seemed exceptionally difficult to heal.

When evaluating your care options, you will also need to consider whether or not you as a candidate for regenerative medicine. For example, patients with severe arthritis are generally considered to be beyond the point of responding to biologics therapy. Patients with active malignancy (cancer), infection, blood disorders, or certain chronic medical conditions should also avoid these therapies. Finally, an elevated body mass index may be prohibitive toward obtaining marrow from the pelvis.

 

How Do I Decide Between This Type Of Treatment And Surgery?

Many patients who are considering regenerative medicine are deciding between it and surgery. BMAC and PRP therapy are minimally invasive and relatively low risk compared to surgery, making them an attractive option to many patients. In addition to listening to the advice of your doctor while making your decision, it’s worth remembering that you can always fall back on surgery if these biologic therapies fail to alleviate symptoms and/or improve function.

 

Will Insurance Cover This Service?

Unfortunately, insurance plans (other than workman's compensation) do not cover this service. However, we have ensured that our pricing is as affordable as possible for this particular care method

For PRP therapy, Dr. Prisk currently uses the Arthrex ACP platelet-rich plasma system at Prisk Orthopaedics and Wellness. The Arthrex ACP System is an FDA Cleared medical device, and can be operated at a Price of $400 per treatment. This is the lowest cost available in Pittsburgh for this type of care.

A BMAC procedure is $3000, and is scheduled in the office or the operating room as desired.

Please contact us at (412) 525-7692 or submit an online appointment request form if you have any questions.