The Hughston Clinic Approach

It has long been the mission of Hughston physicians to understand and build on the human body’s inherent ability to repair and heal itself. Over the years, we have attempted to manage the process, using diet, exercise, and anti-inflammatory medications, to modify the course and outcomes of injuries and degenerative conditions in a positive manner.

What can Orthobiologics do?

With an exciting new approach called orthobiologics, our goal is to aid the body’s response by using orthobiologic products, which are substances naturally found in the body. In particular, research attention has been on using adipose (fat) tissue, scaffolds, stem cells, and growth factors in orthopedic surgery and nonsurgical treatments. These procedures are minimally invasive and while no treatment can fully heal damaged joints, these approaches are showing promise in an array of conditions.


Which is better, PRP or Mesenchymal stem cells?
There is no definite answer to this question. Both PRP and Mesenchymal stem cells seem to work via an individual specific pathway with advantages and limitations of each. Your physician can highlight the specifics of each and advise you as to if one may be better than the other in your case.

Will PRP or stem cells lead to growth of new cartilage?
Most studies have shown that joints with cartilage damage are positively influenced by the injection of stem cells or PRP. Basic science studies have shown the ability for tissues to regenerate and grow, however, the clinical studies as far as confirming this process in a real world basis are still ongoing.

How many injections are necessary?
This is still being evaluated. Many studies show data from a single injection. Some PRP studies have a protocol with several fairly close spaced injections as part as a study protocol. Because of the biologic nature of these injections, if it helps, it may be repeated at an appropriate time which could be discussed with your physician.

What is the timeline on response to these injections?
This varies considerably based on the amount of damage that is present in the joint or tendon. The compounds go to work once injected but again because you are attempting to activate a biologic response, this takes some time. Typically, some improvement is noted in a few weeks with continued improvement over several months.

How long will they last?
Studies have shown that the pain control effects of these can last for up to a year but because of the biologic nature of this process, they can be repeated when the initial effects start to wear off.

What about the cost?
Currently these treatments are not covered by most insurance plans as they are considered an evolving technology. At the Hughston Clinic, we have a fiduciary responsibility to our patients and price things fairly and will not overcharge for these services. Each procedure is priced reflecting the time, materials and cost of providing these services and again as a part of our community to providing cost effective quality musculoskeletal care.