Biologics – Frequently Asked Questions


Frequently Asked Questions About Biologics

Am I a Candidate for Biologics?

Ortho RI Biologics providers complete thorough examinations to determine what biologic treatment might help you return to activity. Biologics can help treat a broad range of orthopedic conditions, including:

  • Bursitis
  • Tendon Tears and Tendinitis
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Golfer’s Elbow and Tennis Elbow
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Ligament Sprains

Are there adverse reactions to Biologic injections?

  • Short term adverse reactions – the main adverse reaction is pain and discomfort during and after injection. This is because we are simulating an inflammatory and healing response. It is also possible to develop a low-grade fever, body aches, or fatigue.
  • Your own cells and tissues are used which reduces risk for contamination or rejection.
  • Very low risk of infections, DVT, or neurovascular injury.
  • Long term, the only problem that you could encounter is that it is not effective.

Will this just “mask” or “cover up” my symptoms?

The purpose or theory of biologics treatments is to optimize healing and improve the body’s own framework. Therefore, we are trying to induce a healing process rather than just covering symptoms up with something like pain medications.

Does it regrow cartilage?

Scientific studies are promising, but currently there is nothing definitive that shows this in human studies. Literature currently shows pain reduction in patients with arthritis and cartilage defects.

How many treatments/injections will I need?

  • Typically, the average patient requires one treatment. Sometimes a patient will need 2 or 3 treatments.
  • This is normally assessed at least 6 weeks after the first injection. We usually do not consider a repeat injection if the injection helped completely or did not help at all. A repeat injection may be beneficial in those that get partial relief after the first treatment or if symptoms return after a period of time.

How long is the healing process?

The body starts the healing process over the first 4-6 weeks, but can take up to 9-12 months to completely heal depending on the problem. Usually, symptoms and mobility improve over the first 4-8 weeks.

When can I return to work or school?

This is patient dependent. It is ok to return the next day if symptoms are controlled. However, it is acceptable to take a day or two off. A note can be provided if needed.

Does insurance cover biologic treatments?

  • There are some cases where insurance will cover treatments. However, most insurances do not cover this procedure and the patient is responsible for out-of-pocket expenses. If you have questions about your specific insurance, you are encouraged to call your insurance company.
  • HSA and FSA accounts can be used to pay for the procedure. It is your responsibility to call and check with them ahead of time.