01 August 2018
Biologic injections are prepared from your own blood or bone marrow and may repair or regenerate damaged tissue whilst providing pain relief. The injection contains a mixture of anti-inflammatory proteins and growth factors, either with or without a small amount of stem cells. The injection is then administered into diseased areas, such as the knee or ankle, sometimes with a local anaesthetic. It may be used as a form of nonoperative treatment to delay the need for surgery for the following specific conditions:
- Mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis
- Mild to moderate ankle osteoarthritis
- Tendon and ligament problems such as Achilles tendinitis and plantar fasciitis
- Certain sports related injuries of the knee, ankle and foot
In orthopaedic surgery, there has been an increase in the use of such biologic injections worldwide partly driven by the huge interest, amongst both patients and doctors, in the so called 'stem cell therapy'. This term is misleading and should be avoided. While these injections do contain a small concentration of stem cells (usually around 0.01%), the regenerative and repair potential of the stem cell component of the treatment still remains to be established in clinical trials.
This is an area of rapidly developing research and this information will be updated as new research emerges. As these injections are prepared from your own blood and bone marrow, they have minimal side effects and their safety has now been proven in clinical trials.