Kobe Bryant (LA Lakers) is averaging 29 points per game in his 15th season in the NBA. Is it because of a blood derived treatment he had done on his knee? Other elite athletes such as Alex Rodriguez (NY Yankees) and Fred Couples (PGA Golfer) have been treated with Orthokine in Germany. But what is Orthokine? That is a question that needs to be answered.
Orthokine is a form of autologous conditioned serum (ACS) that contains a high concentration of a molecule called IL-1 RA. This stands for interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1 RA). Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is an important mediator of inflammation and tissue damage. Balancing IL-1 with IL-1 RA is important. Read more about IL-1/IL-1 RA
Orthokine to the best of my knowledge is only available in Germany and has mainly been used to treat knee osteoarthritis. A study of 376 patients was done comparing Orthokine (ACS) with hyaluronic acid (HA) and saline injections for knee osteoarthritis. The "effects of ACS were significantly superior to those of HA and saline for all outcome measures and time points." See Abstract of Article
From the available evidence, it appears as though this is a reasonable treatment. I do not, however, know many of the details. This treatment is not available in the United States. It is produced by incubating a patient's blood in a sterile container with beads over a period of 6-8 hours or more. The IL-1 RA and other growth factors are concentrated and injected back into the patient.
This is different than platelet rich plasma (PRP) in that PRP is made at the point of care and can be delivered back to the patient within 15-20 minutes. No incubation period is needed.
I will try to learn more about Orthokine and report back. Please post any comments that may contribute to the conversation and help us all better understand the potential value of this approach.
Allan Mishra, MD