Advancing Knee Pain Management: PRP Therapy & Wharton Jelly-Derived MSC Stem Cell Therapy

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Knee pain can be debilitating, affecting daily life and mobility. In the realm of non-surgical knee pain management, Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy and Wharton Jelly-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) Therapy have emerged as groundbreaking options. This article delves into the mechanisms, advantages, and considerations of these two treatments, providing insights to empower those seeking relief from knee osteoarthritis and ligament injuries.

Understanding PRP Therapy and Wharton Jelly-Derived MSC Stem Cell Therapy

PRP Therapy harnesses the body’s healing potential by utilizing platelets derived from the patient’s own blood. Conversely, Wharton Jelly-Derived MSC Therapy involves mesenchymal stem cells sourced from healthy umbilical cord tissue donors, heralding regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties.

How PRP Therapy Works for Knee Pain

PRP Therapy directs growth factors present in platelets to the injured knee area, stimulating tissue repair and reducing inflammation. The process promotes the development of new cartilage, leading to enhanced joint functionality and pain alleviation. Many individuals notice tangible improvements within 1 to 3 weeks.

How does the PRP therapy process takes place:

PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) therapy is a treatment for knee pain that uses a person’s own blood to promote healing. Here’s how it works:

💠Blood Collection: A small amount of the patient’s blood is drawn, similar to a regular blood test.

💠Separation: The drawn blood is placed in a machine called a centrifuge, which spins rapidly to separate its components. This process divides the blood into red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma, and platelets.

💠Concentration: The platelets, which are rich in growth factors that aid healing, are extracted and concentrated to create PRP.

💠Preparation: The PRP is then carefully prepared for injection. Sometimes, a local anesthetic is used to numb the knee area.

💠Injection: The concentrated PRP is injected directly into the knee joint or the affected area around it. The growth factors in PRP are believed to help repair damaged tissues, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the body’s natural healing processes.

💠Healing Process: Once injected, the growth factors in PRP work to promote tissue repair, reduce pain, and improve knee function. This can be especially beneficial for conditions like osteoarthritis or tendon injuries.

💠Recovery: Recovery time varies, but many people can resume their regular activities shortly after the procedure. The doctor might recommend physical therapy to aid in the healing process.

💠Follow-up: Depending on the severity of the condition, multiple PRP injections might be recommended over a period of time. Regular follow-ups with the doctor help monitor progress.

How Wharton Jelly-Derived MSC Stem Cell Therapy Works for Knee Pain

In contrast, Wharton Jelly-Derived MSC Therapy leverages the potential of mesenchymal stem cells to initiate tissue regeneration and quell inflammation. These specialized cells not only contribute to the repair process but also modulate the immune response, fostering reduced inflammation within the knee. Effects are often discernible between 6 to 24 weeks.

FIGURE. Putative mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) mechanisms of action to treat neurodegenerative diseases: (1) growth factor secretion, (2) neuroinflammation attenuation, and (3) exosome and microRNA (miRNA) secretion. GDNF= glial cell derived neurotrophic factor; IDO= indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase; PGE = prostaglandin; TGFb1 =transforming growth factor b1; T reg= regulatory T cell; VEGF =vascular endothelial growth factor.

Here’s how the whole therapy takes place:

Wharton Jelly is a gelatinous substance found in the umbilical cord. It’s a rich source of MSCs, which are versatile cells with the potential to differentiate into various tissue types and possess anti-inflammatory properties.

💠Source of MSCs: Wharton Jelly is collected from donated umbilical cords after childbirth, so no harm is caused to the donor or the baby. The MSCs are then isolated and processed for therapeutic use.

💠Anti-Inflammatory and Regenerative Properties: MSCs from Wharton Jelly have shown the ability to modulate the immune response, reducing inflammation in the knee joint. Inflammation is a major contributor to knee pain, especially in conditions like osteoarthritis.

💠Tissue Repair and Regeneration: When injected into the knee joint, these MSCs can promote the repair of damaged tissues, including cartilage and tendons. They release growth factors and cytokines that stimulate the body’s natural healing mechanisms.

💠Minimally Invasive Procedure: The therapy involves injecting the MSCs directly into the knee joint. It’s typically done on an outpatient basis and doesn’t require surgery.

💠Personalized Treatment: The MSCs used in this therapy are immune-modulatory, meaning they are less likely to trigger adverse immune reactions. This makes them suitable for a wide range of patients.

💠Reduced Downtime: Compared to surgical interventions, Wharton Jelly-Derived MSC Therapy generally involves minimal downtime. Patients can often resume their daily activities sooner.

💠Potential Benefits: While results can vary, patients have reported decreased and even resolved knee pain, improved joint function, and increased mobility after undergoing this therapy.

💠Consultation and Monitoring: Patients interested in Wharton Jelly-Derived MSC Therapy should consult a qualified medical professional. The doctor will evaluate the patient’s condition and determine if this therapy is a suitable option.

It’s important to note that while this therapy shows promise, more research is needed to fully understand its long-term effectiveness and safety. Each patient’s situation is unique, so a healthcare provider’s guidance is crucial in making informed decisions about treatment options for knee pain.

Differences in Mode of Action and Advantages

A closer look at the differences between PRP Therapy and Wharton Jelly-Derived MSC Stem Cell Therapy reveals a spectrum of advantages:

AspectPRP TherapyWharton Jelly-Derived MSC Therapy
Cell TypePatient’s Autologous PlateletsAllogeneic Umbilical Cord-Derived MSCs
Primary ActionAugmentation of Natural Healing ProcessesTissue Regeneration and Inflammation Modulation
Regeneration MechanismGrowth Factor StimulationMSCs’ Differentiation and Secretory Properties
Anti-inflammatory EffectModerateSignificant
Cell SourcePatient’s BloodHealthy Donor Umbilical Cord Tissue
Treatment DurationMulti-session Approach May Be RequiredFewer Sessions Often Required; Depends on Severity
Onset of Effects1 – 3 Weeks6 – 12 Weeks
Advantages– Lower cost (RM 700 – RM 1000)– Enhanced regenerative potential
– Quicker onset of effects– Profound anti-inflammatory impact
– Utilizes patient’s own blood– Reduced need for multiple sessions
– Differentiates into bone and cartilage cells for tissue repair
Cost (Approximate)RM 700 – RM 1000 (1 side)RM 12000 – 25000 (1 side); Cell Count Dependent

Choosing the Right Approach for You

The choice between PRP Therapy and Wharton Jelly-Derived MSC Stem Cell Therapy is individual and should factor in preferences, expected outcomes, and budget considerations. Consulting the experienced professionals at EA Clinic can aid in making an informed decision tailored to your unique needs. 


For those seeking non-surgical knee pain solutions, PRP Therapy and Wharton Jelly-Derived MSC Stem Cell Therapy stand as beacons of hope. PRP Therapy’s growth factor approach delivers quicker results, while Wharton Jelly-Derived MSC Therapy offers a profound regenerative potential and potent anti-inflammatory effects. By understanding their mechanisms and advantages, you can embark on a journey towards reduced pain, improved joint function, and an enhanced quality of life. 

Take the first step towards a pain-free future by consulting the dedicated team at EA Clinic, where your well-being remains the priority. In our clinic we do combine both treatments in a tailored plan for patients with knee pain. As one of the top knee pain clinics in Malaysia, we have treated around 500 knees since year 2018 and achieved a successful treatment rate of at least 80%.

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