One of the most exciting areas of new conservative treatments in orthopedics and sports medicine involves making the most of the body’s natural healing processes. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment is becoming a more popular option for accelerating the body’s process of healing. PRP treatment has been getting a lot of attention in the news media and is being used by numerous college and professional athletes to accelerate healing. This cutting edge treatment is now available to everyone and is being used to treat many orthopaedic conditions including chronic tendonitis and muscle strains.
Our blood consists of a liquid component called Plasma. Plasma contains red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Platelets contribute to essential growth functions and clotting, and contain growth factors that are critical to the body’s healing processes. To prepare a PRP injection, blood is extracted through a large vein and is run through a centrifuge for about 10-15 minutes to separate the platelets from the other components of the blood. After a local anesthetic injection, the platelet-rich plasma material is then injected directly into the tissue in need of healing, which stimulates your body’s natural restorative cell production.
PRP has also been used to improve function and reduce pain in people who have arthritis or joint pain. Results have also been promising in treating conditions such as Achilles and patellar tendonitis. Clinical studies in humans have been promising, but are limited by their study design and few patients. Overall, there is limited support of PRP treatment in published clinical studies. However, because PRP is created from a patient's own blood, it is considered a relatively low-risk treatment with the potential to improve or speed healing. Many patients are choosing to try platelet-rich plasma injections as an alternative to surgical intervention or as a substitute for oral anti-inflammatory medication.
If you are interested in learning more about if Platelet Rich Plasma Injections or if you would like to find out if PRP is right for you, please call JOI-2000 to schedule a consultation.
Dr. Carlos Tandron is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, and subspecialty certified in Sports Medicine. Dr. Tandron's practice is JOI San Marco.
Author: Dr. Carlos Tandron