Does Regenerative Medicine Have Any Risks?
Summit sports medicine and regenerative medicine specialist Brennan Boettcher, D.O., tells you what you need to know before pursuing regenerative medicine options.
Although they can’t turn back the clock, “regenerative medicine treatments aim to reduce pain, to improve function, and to increase quality of life,” Dr. Boettcher said. But does regenerative medicine have any risks?
People considering regenerative medicine treatments — such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections or stem cell injections like bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC) and microfragmented adipose tissue (MFAT) — often have questions about the treatments’ risks. And there’s good news, according to Dr. Boettcher. “We have a lot of data demonstrating the safety of these procedures.”
What are regenerative medicine’s risks?
Although any injection carries some risk, the risks for regenerative medicine injections are the same as any other injection. Summit’s regenerative medicine experts use sterile techniques to minimize infection risk.
The main risk with PRP therapy is pain at the injection site. For most people, the pain goes away on its own within a couple of weeks. Likewise, BMAC and MFAT therapies typically do not result in serious complications. The primary risks are bleeding, infection, and injection-site pain. With BMAC and MFAT, some people may also experience bruising and pain at the bone marrow harvest site. As with PRP, the pain should go away on its own within about two weeks. MFAT may also result in a change in the outline of the skin at the harvest site, particularly for people who are slender.
Summit’s regenerative medicine experts use sophisticated guidance techniques, including high-definition ultrasound as well as fluoroscopy, to track the needle’s progress in real time and make sure that the harvest and injection are in exactly the right place. This minimizes the regenerative treatment’s risk of injection-site pain, and it also helps to ensure the best possible outcome from the treatment itself.
What happens if the pain is persistent?
If injection-site pain continues for more than two weeks, it’s a good idea to consult with your Summit specialist. The inflammation may take a bit longer to go away. While you wait, at-home treatments like ice and pain relievers such as acetaminophen can help.
Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive sports medicine expertise
From Olympians to pro athletes to kids in youth sports and those that just want to be more active—Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Plymouth, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as several additional community clinics.
More resources for you:
Research guides the use of knee stem cell therapy to manage arthritis pain.
Ask the Expert: Regenerative Medicine Video Series
Regenerative PRP and BMAC therapies offer promising options for pain relief and improved function.