Regenerative Injection Therapy

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Call 1-800-533-UPMC (533-8762) to make an appointment with a doctor from the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Regenerative injection therapy (RIT) is a treatment for chronic pain caused by unhealed injuries around:
  • Cartilage
  • Joints
  • Ligaments
  • Muscles
  • Tendons

Benefits of RIT

When you injure tissue, it sends a signal to the body to begin the healing process.

During this process, your body removes damaged tissue and replaces it with new, healthy tissue, creating an inflammatory state that can be painful.

Anti-inflammatories or steroids treat the pain of inflammation, but can suppress the healing process.

RIT, however, seeks to replicate the normal, tissue-healing process by injecting a substance into the tissue that stimulates your body’s natural ability to heal.

Common Conditions Treated by RIT

RIT is useful in treating repetitive stress injuries that never have sufficient time to heal properly, and other injuries that do not heal completely. It also helps repair certain conditions that are commonly treated by surgery.

Injuries and conditions commonly treated by RIT procedures include:

  • Achilles tendonitis
  • ACL injuries
  • Biceps tendinosis
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Iliotibial band syndrome
  • Ligament injuries
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Tennis elbow

Types of RIT

The doctors at the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation offer two types of RIT: prolotherapy and platelet rich plasma.

Prolotherapy works by injecting a highly concentrated glucose solution at the tendon and ligament attachment site. The resulting inflammation will naturally stimulate the body to begin the healing process.

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) works by injecting a biological concentrate of your own platelets, called a tissue graft, into the damaged area using ultrasound-guided injection technology. The graft is embedded into your damaged or diseased tissue to stimulate recovery.

To grow the tissue graft, we draw your blood — similar to a routine blood test — and place it in a special centrifuge machine. This machine creates a tissue graft of platelets, rich in growth factors and inflammatory mediators essential for healing wounds.

Because the PRP graft contains at least six times the concentration of your own platelets and growth factors, it helps accelerate tissue repair and regeneration.

Most people require two to three injections every six to eight weeks.

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