Using the body’s own healing mechanisms to treat joint and tendon damage.

Orthobiologics are a group of treatment options that are more natural than many conventional remedies (like cortisone) and have been proven highly effective in treating osteoarthritis and tendinopathy (or tendinitis) when applied in the correct setting. These natural remedies work with your body to improve symptoms and potentially restore cartilage and tendon structure.

At Ohio State, this family of treatments primarily includes: 

  • Platelet- Rich Plasma (PRP)
  • Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Therapy (BMAC)

Getting Started

The best treatment option for you will be determined by the exact nature of your joint or tendon problem. We will also take into account any other medical history that might impact your treatment.
  • Any patient with osteoarthritis or tendinopathy can be considered.
  • Patients with blood disorders and those requiring anti-inflammatory medicines may not be good candidates.
  • PRP and BMAC treatments are an out-of-pocket expense not covered by most insurance companies.
  • Both are safe and effective alternatives to surgery, steroid injections and therapy.
Ohio State Sports Medicine uses an advanced system in its procedures, which allows our physicians to customize the cell content, platelet concentration and blood volume specific to each patient’s needs. Our technology also allows for two joints to be addressed in the same session.

If you are considering the Platelet-Rich Plasma procedure or Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Therapy, you should avoid these things before your consultation and procedure:

  • Over-the-counter pain medicine like ibuprofen (Advil™, Motrin™), naproxen (Aleve™, Naprosyn™) and acetaminophen (Tylenol™): Avoid 10 days before and 10 days after your procedure. These medications interfere with the tissue repair process.
  • Come to your appointment well hydrated.
  • Having someone to drive you is always preferable.  
  • Alcohol: Avoid 48 hours before your procedure. Do not consume alcohol while you are taking prescription pain medication.
  • Tobacco and nicotine: These products impair your ability to heal. Consider talking to your physician about stopping.
  • Diet: All dietary supplements are acceptable to continue. There is no need to fast before the procedure. You may eat normal meals before your procedure and resume your regular diet when you feel able.
  • Aspirin: If prescribed by a physician, continue taking it.  If you take it but haven't been told by your physician you need it, stop taking it 10 days before the procedure.  

Platelet-Rich Plasma

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP is generally for mild to moderate osteoarthritis or tendon injuries
This nonsurgical, natural procedure starts with performing a small blood draw and isolating the platelets that contain healing proteins via a centrifuge. Those platelets are then injected into the problem joint or tendon. The entire process takes about 30 minutes.The injection will typically be performed under ultrasound guidance to maximize accuracy and improve your comfort.PRP_RTF

Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate

Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Therapy (BMAC) is for moderate to severe cases of osteoarthritis and severe tendon injuries.
The BMAC procedure starts with extracting bone marrow from the pelvis or hip bone under local anesthetic. Similar to PRP, the sample is spun in a centrifuge to isolate a fluid rich in stem cells. Under ultrasound guidance, this is then injected into the site of pain or injury in an attempt to initiate regenerative cell growth.
The entire process takes approximately one hour.

Post Procedure and Outcomes

Aftercare is individualized. Many factors go into deciding activity level, which your physician will discuss with you. You may need to attend physical therapy, especially if you have tendinopathy. Low-impact activity is encouraged for the first few days after your injection. A follow-up visit with your physician will determine when you are able to resume regular physical activities. No athletic or sporting activity for 10 days after your procedure.  Activities of daily living, like walking, housework and errands are acceptable. 

Several studies have demonstrated that Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) eases pain and improves function through its potent, natural anti-inflammatory effect. For osteoarthritis, about 70 percent of patients experience meaningful improvement in symptoms within 2-4 weeks, with benefits lasting 6-12 months.

PRP can be repeated as necessary. Some doctors recommended a series of injections, but we do not. Your Ohio State Sports Medicine physician will monitor your progress and can discuss with you if and when a ‘booster’ injection would be beneficial. This ultimately is a decision between you and your physician, as there is no proven predetermined number of injections.

Research has also demonstrated the promise of bone marrow aspirate therapy in improving the symptoms of arthritis and tendinopathy.


Platelet- Rich Plasma Therapy

Dr. Grant Jones, MD, orthopaedic surgeon and head of the Sports Medicine Shoulder Division, provides an overview of the promising technique of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy to treat many orthopedic injuries.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Clinical Trials

Dr. Michael Baria discusses Platelet- Rich Plasma (PRP) and the research taking place to determine how to prefect the treatment and when it is appropriate for patients to return to their activities or sport safely. 

Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Therapy (BMAC)

Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Therapy, BMAC, is used as a nonsurgical option to treat osteoarthritis in patients. This natural remedy works with your body to improve symptoms and potentially restore cartilage and tendon structure.

Our Team

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