Q. How does each type of Regenerative Injection Treatment compare to each other?
A. I like my patients to think of these treatment options on a continuum of care spectrum, starting with the mildest, easiest, and cheapest at the low end to the most expensive, sophisticated, and strongest on the high end of the spectrum.
- Prolotherapy is the safest, cheapest, and most effective place to start for milder disease. The younger the patient, the better it works. It still can help in more advanced disease, and in patients of advanced age, but the chance of significant improvement falls with severity and age. It can take three to six prolotherapy treatments to heal or manage most orthopedic conditions, with a range being one to ten treatments.
- PRP is probably equal to two to three prolotherapy treatments, but it can cost two to three times more than a prolotherapy treatment. I generally prefer to use it for unstable ligament tears, larger tendon tears, more advanced cartilage lesions, and more advanced arthritis. Most orthopedic conditions that I treat take two to three treatments, with a range of one to five treatments to heal or manage.
- Stem cells are reserved for severe tendon disease, ligament tears, cartilage lesions, and more advanced arthritis. In a more moderate case, it also can attain in one treatment what two to three PRP treatments can achieve. For someone with a limit to the amount of time they can commit to their healing schedule, it may be more cost effective to go right to a stem cell treatment plan. This is especially true for someone traveling a great distance for treatment. The other advantage is that the length of symptom relief a patient usually experiences from a stem cell treatment, particularly for a chronic incurable condition, such as degenerative arthritis, may be two to three times that of a series of PRP treatment