What are PRP and Marrow Cells?
All human bodies contain some cells and growth factors that are designed to help reduce inflammation and allow the body to heal itself from any damage and injury. PRP stands for platelet rich plasma and is harvested from one’s blood by simple blood draw. Marrow cells are typically harvested from iliac crest which is the large pelvic bone that you feel from the side of your waist.
The harvesting of PRP and bone marrow contains many rich growth factors and cells that have been shown to potentially decrease pain, inflammation and possibly allow repair of damaged areas and augment healing. Some of the cells in the marrow are also mesenchymal cells that might be part of the harvest. Click here for further info about mesenchymal cells.
How Do these Cells and Growth Factors Work?
Dr. Nourian has been extremely selective on who he uses these cells and growth factor therapies. Most of the patients have done very well. There have not been any adverse events or mishaps from PRP and bone marrow use. For the rest of the patients, it simply didn’t work. We still don’t know why it works in some patients and doesn’t work in others.
What happens during PRP and marrow cell treatment with Dr. Nourian?
In the pre-op holding area, blood is drawn from the patient for PRP preparation. Then the patient is brought to the operating room and a needle is used to aspirate bone marrow from the iliac crest. The bone marrow is then immediately processed to extract the patient’s own potential mesenchymal cells and protein factors. This mixture is then injected into the intervertebral discs using fluoroscopic guidance or into the knee. The patient spends about 30 minutes in observation after the procedure and is sent home the same day.
This procedure is an excellent alternative to spine surgery or joint replacement for young and even some older patients with back and joint pain who wish to remain active. The procedure can work to decrease pain from inflammation and might even slow down or halt degenerative inflammatory changes. Intradiscal injections may delay or even eliminate the need for future spine surgery such as fusion or disc replacement.
How PRP and Bone Marrow Treat Back Pain?
Dr. Nourian has seen some excellent results using this procedure to treat back pain related to conditions such as:
- annular tear
- disc desiccation
- disc bulges
- disc tear
- degenerative disc disease
- discogenic low back pain
- modic endplate changes
Dr. Nourian has also used the same treatment for degenerative changes and loss of cartilage in joints such as the knees with excellent results.
These are conditions that can be causes of back pain due to abnormal wear and tear which cause pain due to local inflammation. The goal is to use these modalities to potentially decrease inflammation which then potentially decreases pain and ultimately may augment the body’s ability to repair the damaged area.
We are still in the very early stages of learning about these cell and growth factor therapies and more and more data is still becoming available and further research is needed. Although successful on many patients, there are still some patients who do not get better. This treatment is offering another avenue of potentially avoiding surgery, although surgery may still be needed.
As time passes and more information about cell use and growth factors is uncovered, expect these procedures to become more common.
Have Any Questions?
Neck & Spine Specialities
Dr. Nourian has an enviable record of successfully treating the full spectrum of neck and spine problems.
Disease & Disorders
Specialist in treating a wide variety of injuries and conditions that impact bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves.
What Patients Think About Dr. Nourian
Awesome awesome doctor!!!very nice to all his patient! Dr. Nourian is very kind and caring. A very pleasant man and easy to communicate with. He saw my son when he injured his hip and He took extra good care of him. After 2 wks he was able to resume sports. He’s not only a very good orthopedic surgeon but also an amazing Spine doctor. He always make sure he always gets the job done. 2 Thumbs up to this Doctor!!!??
Dr. Nourian was fantastic! He was able to alleviate my back pain. I would recommend him to anyone
Dr. Nourian is the best. His bedside manner is friendly and professional and his staff is excellent. I went to see him after a terrible whiplash injury when I rear-ended while driving. After receiving my MRI results, the doctor was quick to reach out and went over my options with me. He really cares about his patients.
Michelle Sadighpour Shophet
Dr. Nourian is an outstanding physician. I injured my back while exercising recently. I went to see him, and he explained my injury to me in detail. He told me that my injury would most likely heal without surgery, but if I needed surgery in the future he would get me through it. He is honest, intelligent, and forthcoming. I am thankful for him as my spine physician.
Dr. Nourian was absolutely fantastic. I was struggling with intense lower back pain. He took his time 40 minutes to be exact to see me and review everything with me after another follow up we decided to do surgery. Thank god!!! I’m back to working out, picking up my child, and living my best life. I was so hesitant to do surgery but he was a true god send. He would call me weekly to see how I’m doing.
Dr. Nourian is smart, caring, attentive and super knowledgeable. I highly recommend him as an orthopedic surgeon!
Sharon Darouvar Greiner
Great with patients and consciences of patient’s time as well as needs. He will spend time to assure the patients with respect to treatment plan and follow-up was amazing with my auntie’s back issues.
An extremely knowledgeable doctor with wonderful bedside manner. He clearly explained every step of the procedure and eased all my worries. My back is feeling great thanks to Doctor Nourian
After seeing three doctors and all of them saying I should operate Dr Nourian was able to address and issue without and surgery. I got an epidural and did physical therapy and I’m able to run around with my grand child. He’s truly a gem. Everyone at the office was friendly and supportive.
Dr. Nurian explained everything very well and preformed the surgery exactly as planned. I woke up pain free and the surgery pain was gone in five days. Could not give him enough praise.