Right now, regenerative medicine is experiencing what might be considered a “golden age” of development. Within the past 20 years we’ve gained significant insight into the potential of expanding the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Whether its Tissue Allograft or PRP there is a solution for you.
For patients who are experiencing pain – either from musculoskeletal injuries or from diseases and ailments – tissue allograft therapy is providing a new outlet for relief which seeks to help your body repair itself more efficiently.
Out of all the different avenues physicians have researched, two popular methods have appeared which produce the greatest positive impact for regeneration. These are:
- Tissue Allograft Therapy
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)
Both treatments have gained massive popularity in recent years due to their unique potential to help accelerate healing, and reduce recovery time.
However, there are distinct differences between the two options which a patient must understand before proceeding with a treatment plan. The goal of this article is to help you understand the difference between the two methods, and discuss the benefits, risks, and effectiveness of both.
By the end of this article we hope to provide you with insights which can assist with making the most informed decision possible. Remember, both methods are effective, but there are differences which lend themselves to be more effective in certain scenarios.
Let’s get started!
Tissue Allograft Therapy
To properly assess both options, we first need to understand what tissue allograft is. Tissue allograft refers to any tissue which is harvested from a donor and then transplanted to a recipient.
A good example of this would be when a burn patient gets tissue from a donor willing to provide skin tissue to help with healing.
Now, allograft tissue can come in a variety of different types which include: bone, cartilage, connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments.
It also has a wide range of medical uses. For example, in orthopedics, tissue allograft can be used to help replace or repair damaged bones, tendons, or ligaments. Take for example an athlete who happens to tear their ACL (which is a ligament responsible for the proper function of the knee). Often an orthopedic physician will recommend using tissue allograft (a new ACL) as a way of healing the injured knee.
It doesn’t just have to be injuries either. There’s good evidence of tissue allograft providing a positive impact on patients with degenerative conditions like arthritis, or even diabetic patients in need of a wound dressing for chronic wounds.
While there are impactful benefits for patients, it’s important to understand the disadvantages too. One disadvantage is the potential for rejection of the tissue. The tissue is being provided by a donor, and there will always be a risk of rejection from the patient’s immune system.
There is one additional risk worth mentioning, but it’s very rare. The potential for disease transmission through the donated tissue. While every physician is required to provide rigorous sterilization, there is a potential risk for an infection to occur with a tissue allograft.
PRP – Platelet Rich Plasma
Platelet-rich plasma on the other hand is a concentrated solution of platelets which are obtained from the patients (your) own blood. Platelets are a specific kind of cell found within the blood that are best known for producing clotting. However, they play another crucial role by signaling to the body to begin the healing process.
The process for obtaining PRP is actually straightforward. First a small amount of blood is pulled from the patient and then put into a centrifuge for separation of the platelets and other cells. The result of the concentrated platelets is PRP.
Currently, PRP is used widely for orthopedic and sports medicine. Due to the nature of PRP being derived from the same patient, PRP is considered safe as the preparation only contains the patient’s own cells. This ensures a patient will not experience a rejection due to an immune response.
Currently, the main disadvantage of PRP is simply the limit of healing it can provide depending on the specific injury. PRP is not for every patient and can certainly not be useful in patients with limited platelet production.
Hopefully this article has brought some insight into your comparison between tissue allograft and platelet-rich plasma. In the end, both solutions are effective for certain medical treatments, but it’s important to have a quality conversation with your physician to ensure you’re selecting the best option for you given your specific needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is PRP an allograft?
No, PRP is not allograft. Allograft means for tissue to be from a donor, whereas PRP is used from your own blood.
What Is Tissue Allograft Used For?
Tissue allograft is primarily used for regenerative medicine. Most often allograft is used to help repair damaged tissue by providing a scaffolding for your body to use.