The stem cell alternative

PRF injections relieve arthritic pain, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis and more.

“PRF and PRP alleviate pain from arthritis or tendonitis like a steroid injection, but without the side effects, and PRF results last much longer – a year or more of pain-free living.”

– Dr. Gustav Lo, MD

dr lo arthritis
dr lo arthritis

The pain relief of a cortisone shot without the negative side effects & longer lasting results.

The pain relief of a cortisone shot, but with no negative side effects and longer lasting results.

Dread the pain of a handshake? Knees stiff? Hard to walk up stairs? Practically any arthritic joint, inflamed tendon, or other connective tissue can respond to platelet-rich fibrin therapy (PRF) or platelet-rich plasma (PRP). The Mobility Shot is our brand name for PRF injections. It uses all-natural PRF (the second generation PRP) from your own blood cells to to relieve arthritic pain, joint stiffness, chronic tendonitis, bursitis, plantar fasciitis or other soft tissue inflammation.

Cortisone shots or steroid shots give almost immediate pain relief for many but repeated cortisone injections have negative side effects. PRF injections usually give the same relief and PRF injection results last longer than cortisone shots or PRP injections.

PRF and PRP aren’t just for joints: orthopedists have injected it successfully in many types of soft tissue injuries, from tennis elbow to plantar fasciitis and rotator cuff strain – there really isn’t a joint, tendon, or ligament where PRF (or its earlier, less effective cousin, PRP) hasn’t been studied and shown to relieve arthritic pain (we’ve even seen results when it’s bone on bone and surgery isn’t an option). Dr. Gustav Lo has been offering platelet therapy for many years and has treated thousands of arthritic joints and chronic tendonitis.

PRF injections relieve pain for up to a year or more. And range of motion is much improved as well!

We can discuss your specific areas at your complimentary consultation.

Aging or injury – we can help range of motion and pain.

Joints or tendons
nearly anywhere on the body

Natural healing treatment for osteoarthritis

Longer-lasting than steroid shots
with no side effects

The PRF Mobility Shot – Stem Cell Shot alternative

You don’t have to live
with pain.

At RegenCen, we’re committed to helping you live better and enjoy your hobbies without pain. Whether you struggle to stand without stiffness, or wince in pain whenever you squeeze a doorknob or swing a golf club, practically any arthritic joint (wrist, hand, knee, shoulder, hip, and foot), inflamed tendon, or other connective tissue can respond to platelet-rich fibrin therapy (PRF). The Mobility Shot uses all-natural PRF from your own blood cells to restore joint and tendon function, heal damaged tissue and reduce pain. And this effective treatment is available in Petoskey, Traverse City, and Naples by Dr. Gustav Lo and our Physician Associates.

PRP and PRF for arthritis

What are PRF injections?

PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) is a product of your own blood – we simply draw your blood and separate the platelets and fibrin in a centrifuge. The platelets are full of growth factors and other cell-stimulating proteins; the fibrin holds the platelets in the area injected while they slowly release those growth factors.

The growth factors released by PRF attract stem cells (which grow into brand new cartilage and connective tissue) and fibroblasts (which produce more collagen for cushioning and elastin for flexibility). There is also an anti-inflammatory effect that works quickly, and a slower increase in blood supply to the area.

 

The most common joints injected with PRF are knees and hips, and there’s been an uptick in visits for hand pain – using a smartphone or tablet requires repetitive motions that put stress on the joints and tendons in our fingers and wrists – especially the “texting thumb.”
PRF can be a tremendous relief to this frustrating daily pain.

Recent research shows PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) injections alleviate arthritis pain as well as steroid injections, but in a much different way that actually rejuvenates the cartilage and other joint tissues, rather than causing further breakdown. And the results last a lot longer, often a full year or more.

dr lo PRF joints

At RegenCen, we’re committed to
getting you pain free.

Practically anyone over 40 may find their joints (especially in the knees, hips, hands, and feet) become increasingly stiff and painful with activity, or for no reason at all! Tissue inflammation, joint pain, and general age-related wear and tear are common issues in adults of all ages.

The Mobility Shot treats:

  • Tennis Elbow
  • Golfer’s Elbow
  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis in the thumbs and hands
  • RSI (repeat stress injuries) in the hands
  • Plantar fasciitis (“heels spurs” in the feet)
  • Arthritis (osteoarthritis) of all limb joints

PRF and PRP for Joints and Mobility
A Step-by-Step Guide

Before Treatment

Unlike stem cell therapy, there is very little preparation needed for a PRF or PRP Mobility Shot. You will have a consultation with Dr. Lo or one of our Physician Associates in our RegenCen clinic in Petoskey, Traverse City, or Naples to make sure regenerative platelet therapy is appropriate for your condition(s). PRF and PRP injections are not advised in joints that have been replaced but we have successfully treated joints that are “bone on bone” – a term often used by orthopedists to describe joints that don’t respond to surgical treatment for arthritis. Your health history will be reviewed, so bring a list of your current medical conditions and medications. And we encourage you to bring reports of any previous X-rays or MRIs to your appointment.

Day of Treatment
After Treatment

Frequently Asked Questions about
PRF and PRP for Joints and Tendons

What is PRF?

PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) is a product of your own blood - we simply draw your blood and separate the platelets and fibrin in a centrifuge. The platelets are full of growth factors and other cell-stimulating proteins; the fibrin holds the platelets in the area injected while they slowly release those growth factors.

How do PRP and PRF injections work?

The growth factors released by PRF and PRP attract stem cells (which grow into brand new cartilage and connective tissue) and fibroblasts (which produce more collagen for cushioning and elastin for flexibility). There is also an anti-inflammatory effect that works quickly, and a slower increase in blood supply to the area. PRF stays in the joint longer than PRP and studies show longer lasting results. We have upgraded all of our platelet treatments to PRF in both our Petoskey, Traverse City, and Naples regenerative clinics.

Is it easy to get PRF or PRP injections for arthritis?

We do injections for arthritis and chronic pain in our Petoskey, Traverse City, and Naples offices daily and they only take 30 minutes or so.

We have switched from platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) due to the superior, longer-lasting results. PRF is extracted from your own blood, drawn the same day in our office. PRF has been used for years in the medical field to help accelerate post-surgical healing as well as promote healing and repair of orthopedic conditions like bursitis, tendonitis, and arthritic hips and knees.

It’s composed of platelets, fibrin, and a small number of white blood cells. Growth factors in the platelets and the fibrin scaffold are believed to be what helps connective tissue heal and regenerate.

There are decades of orthopedic studies demonstrating the positive effects of PRF injections, but only in the past few years have researchers begun to sort out how and why it works.

The platelets from injected PRF immediately release growth factors, which in turn begin attracting stem cells and activating dormant tissues. This stimulates regrowth of healthy new tissue including blood vessels, fibroblasts, collagen, and elastin. In turn, this improves the health and function of cartilage surfaces in joints - which decreases or eliminates pain in about 75% of arthritis sufferers.

The contents of the platelets and white blood cells also stops the endless cycle of inflammation and repair typical of chronic tendinitis, allowing true healing of “tennis elbow,” plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff tendinitis, and others. “Tennis elbow” tendonitis is one of the best known targets of platelet treatment, with some studies showing nearly 100% response to PRF treatment. Your consultation for arthritic treatment is complimentary at RegenCen in Traverse City, Petoskey, or Naples. Book online with the link above in our header.

How long does it take for PRF to improve my mobility?

Most patients begin to notice an increased ease to their mobility after a few weeks, which continues to improve over time. Stiff knee, shoulder and hip joints feel more fluid. Range of motion is improved. Everyday activity is easier and often pain-free.

How long does it take for PRF to improve my pain?

Usually patients noticed reduced pain a few weeks after their first injection. Some patients don't see progress until after the second injection. About 25% of patients are "non-responders," meaning PRF injections don't seem to work no matter how long you wait.

Is PRF or PRP safe? Will the injections hurt?

PRF and PRP come from your own blood and both are 100% natural, which means your body sees it as its own, eliminating the risk of allergic reaction.

Although any injection procedure has minor risks, complications are rare.

After we draw your blood, we prepare it in a centrifuge and make a concentrate. The injections feel very similar to cortisone shots or steroid injections. If you choose, we can numb the injection area(s) topically. Your time in office is dependent on the number of injections and type of injury.

Does ultrasound improve the effectiveness of PRP, PRF, or stem cell therapy?

Ultrasound imaging shows the doctor and providers the tissues inside your body without X-ray radiation. The ultrasound shows the medical provider the location of both the needle - and your injured or arthritic joints - in real time, allowing precise placement of the stem cells, platelets, or cortisone. We have ultrasound in our Petoskey, Traverse City, and Naples regenerative medical offices.

Will I need multiple PRF treatments?

This varies from patient to patient. Some patients with lesser injuries see resolution after just one treatment, whereas others benefit from a series of treatments spaced over several weeks.

Can I continue taking pain medication or get a steroid shot after PRF or PRP injections?

Yes. PRF, stem cell therapy and PRP are enhancements to other medical treatments and modalities. Because these injections regenerate and regrow tissue over time, some patients find oral pain medication such as NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, etc), topical creams, and even steroid shots help mitigate pain while the PRF does its work in the background. Many of our patients have found they can reduce - or even eliminate - their arthritic pain medication, anti-inflammatory medications, or steroid shots a few weeks after their Mobility Shot at RegenCen Medical Clinic.

How long does the PRF Mobility Shot last?

First things first - PRF gives pain relief longer than PRP and longer than a cortisone shot but the exact length depends on the condition and the severity of the condition. For example, tendonitis is usually due to overuse or injury - once the PRF eliminates the repetitive inflammatory process, the tendonitis shouldn’t come back at all, unless the same injury happens again.

Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, is a chronic condition. Most studies show successful PRF treatments lasting 12 months or more before recurrence of arthritis symptoms. And our patient success stories in Petoskey, Traverse City, and Naples mirror those studies.

Is the PRF Mobility Shot an alternative to surgery or joint replacement?

Sometimes. There are many reports of patients delaying or even avoiding knee or hip joint replacements, and we’ve seen this success in our own studies too in Petoskey and Traverse City. But some osteoarthritis cases are too far advanced for PRF to help, with about 25% of patients seeing no improvement. Certainly research shows there is no harm in trying stem cell therapy, PRF or PRP injections as an alternative to a hip or knee replacement to see if they work before considering surgery. And when surgery isn’t an option for arthritis, many patients still get pain relief in their wrists, hands, shoulders, ankles, and feet.

What is the difference between the PRP and PRF injections?

PRP is platelet-rich plasma (versus PRF, which is platelet rich fibrin). Dr. Lo was initially trained on PRP injections, but as medicine has advanced, both scientific studies and our own experience has shown PRF to be a state-of-the-art, superior form of regenerative therapy. Today all our shots - from tissue and joint, to sexual health and hair restoration - are PRF.

What's the difference between stem cell treatments and PRF injections?

PRF is separated from a patient's blood after a simple blood draw; stem cells are harvested from fat or bone marrow using invasive processes such as liposuction or bone marrow aspiration.

Many early regenerative orthopedic research studies focused on stem cells, but over time, platelet products such as PRP and PRF were shown to have equally positive results, with much lower cost and risk. There are still disagreements as to which is more effective, but everyone agrees PRF is easier on the patient and far less costly.

Have there been any studies on the effectiveness of PRF injections for mobility?

Yes, several. Here is further research and reading on PRF for joints, tennis elbow, and plantar fasciitis:

PRF for better long term results than steroid injections

PRF for better long term results than steroid injections

PRF for plantar fasciitis

PRF for tennis elbow tendinitis

What other conditions is PRF used for and what about tendonitis and fasciitis?

PRF isn’t just for joints: orthopedists have used it successfully in many types of soft tissue injuries, from tennis elbow to plantar fasciitis and rotator cuff strain – there really isn’t a joint, tendon, or ligament where PRF (or its earlier, less effective cousin, PRP) hasn’t been studied and shown to work well, for both pain relief and actually healing injuries.

We can discuss your specific areas at your consultation.

What are the most common joints injected with PRF?

Knees, hips, and there’s been an uptick in visits for hand pain – using a smartphone or tablet requires repetitive motions that put stress on the joints and tendons in our fingers and wrists – especially the "texting thumb."

PRF can be a tremendous relief to this frustrating daily pain.

Are PRF injections covered by insurance?

No but personal health savings accounts or HSAs can be used for platelet-rich fibrin injections.

How does PRF compare with other treatments?

Recent research shows PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) injections alleviate arthritis pain as well as steroid injections, but in a much different way that actually rejuvenates the cartilage and other joint tissues, rather than causing further breakdown. And the results last a lot longer, often a full year or more.

Where can I get the PRF Mobility Shot for joints or arthritis?

We offer the PRF Mobility Shot at our RegenCen offices in Petoskey and Traverse City, MI and Naples, FL. Schedule your complimentary consultation here.

Ready to get some relief?