Evidence for the efficacy of Platelet Rich Plasma, a blood-derived formulation, and bone marrow derived biologics in osteoarthritis continues to grow in the orthopedic community. On the other hand, as I continually monitor the current landscape of indiscriminate and sometimes inappropriate marketing and use of biologics by the non-orthopedic opportunists, I doubt if the charlatans and camp followers have an overview of what is known about these agents. The increased presence of clinics Is driven by the popularity of PRP and its biologic cousins:
- consumer demand
- aggressive marketing
- a low regulatory bar for many of these regenerative medicine clinics
- the autologous nature that makes many approaches largely safe
- positive data from centers such as ours demonstrating functional and symptom modification
PRP works by activating cellular pathways; more than 3,000 genes are related to these and other pathways, suggesting that PRP probably acts by inducing a transitory inflammatory event, which then triggers tissue regeneration. Bone Marrow Concentrate, does more and addresses the subchondral bone when appropriately injected as well as initiate joint preservation and possible regeneration.
I use a hemoanalyzer to characterize a dose of PRP or Bone Marrow Concentrate allowing me to quantify the composition and biologic activity of these agents. Soon, I will begin pretreatment assessment of the synovial fluid of the arthritic joint so as to best determine who is the optimal candidate for a particular procedure
What do we know?
- Knee osteoarthritis: white blood cell-poor PRP has a positive effect on symptoms, not structure; while Bone marrow Concentrate affects symptoms and structure. I identify what I am putting into the patient. My goal is to have reliable predictors of outcome; that is, do the composition and biologic activity of the material implanted in the patient predict the clinical/imaging outcomes? My PRP contains a high concentration of anti-inflammatory cytokines and anabolic growth factors whereas my use of Bone Marrow Concentrate inside the bone adjacent to the joint in addition to the joint itself is improving the outcomes of the patients I treat.
- To learn more, call my office to schedule an appointment at (847) 390-7666
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