Autologous Fat Graft (AFG)/PRP

Autologous fat grafting is used primarily for two reasons one when treating a tendon, ligament or cartilage injury. Another reason is that it provides autologous stem cells (adult stem cells from your own body) and also acts as a matrix for cellular tissue and growth factors to slowly heal a defect. The physician has prescribed AFG because of either more significant tears, defects, necrotic or avascular tissue which may need new cellular material to be viable.

The AFG is obtained usually from the abdomen, buttocks or lateral hip area using a low suction system as to keep the cells viable and undamaged. This is done under a local anesthetic. Usually no sedation is needed. The fat is obtained and the tissue is prepared and mixed with platelet rich plasma (pRP). The PRP was prepared by taking a tube of whole blood and processed using one of the platelet harvesting systems. The fat is prepared and the platelet rich plasma is added in appropriate quantities. The area of injury is imaged and marked where the grafting will take place. Then these areas are sterilely prepped and locally anesthetized under imaging guidance. Once the area is numb, the graft tissue is placed into the damaged areas until all the defects are filled with new tissue. Once this is accomplished, a sterile dressing is applied.

Usually there is some pain and discomfort for approximately 2 – 5 days. This tends to resolve with each day. Ice for 12 minutes every 2 hours for the first day or so is helpful. Appropriate pain medication is given at the end of the procedure. Usually the patient receiving the graft is to avoid NSAIDS one week prior to the procedure and for two weeks after the procedure. The patient should then follow up in 4 – 6 weeks. Some patients may require physical therapy depending on their situation. The graft grows and stays viable for 3 months but may take up to 6 – 9 months to totally incorporate into the surrounding tissue.

If you have any other questions, please ask the physician or staff.

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    Trinity Sports Medicine
    & Performance Center

    3151 Johnson Rd, Suite 2
    Steubenville, OH 43952

    Dr. Scarpone: 740-266-3866
    Physical Therapy: 740-266-3872

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