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Orthobiologic Treatments at Orthopedic ONE


Orthobiologic therapies, also known as regenerative cellular therapies, are rapidly expanding the treatment options for arthritis and chronic tendon injuries and muscle tears. Orthobiologics are substances found in the human body that are often concentrated or filtered to obtain a small quantity for injection into the site of injury. The growth factors contained within or secreted by these substances facilitate tissue healing; improve pain and aid in restoring function. These treatments are useful in mild and moderate arthritic joints, but less effective in severely arthritic joints. They also can be effective in small tendon tears as well as stubborn soft tissue sports injuries.

These treatment options are currently considered to be experimental and therefore are not first line therapies but can be considered when conventional treatments have failed. Discuss this with your treating physician to determine if you would be a candidate for these therapies. Many insurance companies do not currently cover these treatment options.


PRP is the most studied of the Orthobiologic therapies. Many, but not all, of these studies have shown benefit in reducing pain and improving function inpatients with arthritis or chronic tendinopathies. Platelets contain powerful transforming growth factors that stimulate tissue healing and can also stimulate and signal local stem cells. PRP is obtained from the patient’s own blood and is processed in office. This takes approximately 45 minutes. A small quantity is then injected into the site of injury. The patient can return to normal function afterward but many take it easy the rest of the day. The main restriction afterward is the avoidance of anti-inflammatory medications, which can reduce the effectiveness of this treatment. Studies have shown that often 2-3 injections are needed for arthritis and 1-2 injections for tendinopathy.

A2M (Alpha 2 Macroglobulin)

A2M is a protein within the blood that inhibits cartilage degradation by neutralizing harmful enzymes within a degenerate joint and is a treatment option for swollen, arthritic joints. A2M is obtained through a blood draw and processed in the office which takes 45 minutes.  It is then injected into the painful arthritic joint. Positive results can be seen within a day or two after this type of injection.

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