Why would someone need Platelet Rich Plasma therapy?
Tendons and ligaments connect muscles to bone, making it possible for you to walk, jump, lift and move. Once injured, tendons and ligaments do not heal easily because they naturally have poor blood supply, particularly where they connect to bone. As a result, the tendons and ligaments become weak and the muscles become over-taxed causing chronic pain, weakness and further damage. Common treatment options include: rest, anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy, bracing and even corticosteroid injections. For some patients, these treatment options are not enough and do not provide long-term relief. Now there is a new treatment that is accelerating the way patients heal from chronic problems with tendons, ligaments and muscles. It’s called Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy.
The Power of Platelets
Blood contains platelets and fibrinogen, which play a crucial role in blood clotting and also carry certain growth factors that promote wound healing. PRP is derived from your own blood, which has been processed to concentrate the platelets. When injected into the injured site, these concentrated platelets contain powerful growth factors that can jumpstart the healing of injured tendons and ligaments by stimulating tissue repair and regeneration. Common conditions that can be treated with PRP include tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, Achilles injuries, and partial rotator cuff tears.
How does it work?
A small amount of your blood is collected and placed into a centrifuge. The centrifuge concentrates the platelets from the blood. The concentrated platelets are then harvested and injected into the injured area. Responses to treatment vary, but most patients will need one to three injections. Each set of treatments may be spaced approximately three to four weeks apart.
Is PRP right for me?
If you have a tendon or ligament injury and traditional methods have not provided relief, then PRP therapy may be a solution.
How will I feel?
As with any injection, you may experience some localized soreness and discomfort at the injection site. You may need some over-the-counter pain tablets or to apply ice to the area as needed. In general, patients treated with PRP therapy report significant improvement in their symptoms. PRP therapy may eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments such as invasive surgery or long-term medication.
When can I return to regular physical activities?
PRP therapy is not a quick fix. The therapy stimulates the growth and repair of tendons and ligaments, which requires time and rehabilitation.
(text reproduced with permission from Exactech )