Science and being on the cutting edge is exciting.
I know from the upcoming report, Data Trends in U.S. Healthcare and Patient Rehabilitation – Focus Patient Characteristics, Patient Outcomes and Clinical Performance, that many patients present for services for musculoskeletal problems.
I’ve seen more chatter on Twitter about platelet-rich plasma and stem cell treatments than I have in my local area. You may need to decide for yourself how you’d respond to a patient curious about these procedures. In my most recent search, both were considered experimental in my area. The payers in my area have not seen solid enough evidence supporting the value of these procedures. This means that the patient would be fully responsible for the financial cost of the procedure.
You’ll find the abstract below.
Platelet-rich Plasma and Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Exciting, But … are we there Yet?
Joint conditions incapacitate free movement driving to a sedentary lifestyle, a major risk factor for chronic diseases. Regenerative procedures, involving the use of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells along with platelet-rich plasma (PRP), can help patients with these conditions. We describe the main characteristics of cellular products (bone marrow concentrate, stromal vascular fraction of adipose tissue, and mesenchymal stem/stromal cells derived from these tissues), and the potential benefits of combination with PRP in 3 scenarios: PRP lysates used during laboratory cell expansion; PRP to prime cellular products or the host tissue before cell implantation; PRP used as a vehicle for cell transplantation and to provide trophic signals. Clinical studies exploring the benefits of combination products are limited to case series and few controlled studies, involving either arthroscopy or percutaneous injections. Combination products are making their way to clinics but further experimental and clinical research is needed to establish protocols and indications.
Sports Med Arthrosc Rev. 2018 Jun;26(2):59-63. doi: 10.1097/JSA.0000000000000191.