Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

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Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

Athletes and active individuals who endure chronic pain from tendon injuries or osteoarthritis may finally get relief from a safe, non-surgical procedure. It’s called Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy, and it utilizes platelets from the athletes’ own blood to rebuild a damaged tendon or cartilage. It has been successful in not only relieving the pain, but also in jumpstarting the healing process.

Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy is done in an exam room and takes less than an hour. The patient’s blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge for 15 minutes to separate out the platelets. The platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the damaged portion of the tendon or cartilage with the guidance of an ultrasound machine.

Patients are put on a program of relative rest followed by physical therapy for the first 6 weeks. After about 6 to 12 weeks, patients are re-evaluated for improvement. Some patients with more difficult injuries may require more than one injection to achieve successful outcomes. The majority of PRP patients find that within 3 months they can return to most or all of the activities they were doing before the pain started.

PRP FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a concentrated sample of your own blood composed primarily of high levels of platelets. Platelets are a critical component of the wound healing process. Importantly platelets contain growth factors that are responsible for stimulating tissue generation and repair. Your physician delivers a concentration of platelets and growth factors that are roughly 4-6 times greater than that found in whole blood.

What are growth factors?
Growth factors  are necessary to initiate tissue repair and regeneration at the wound site. Growth factors derived from platelets are responsible for soft tissue repair, bone regeneration, development of new blood vessels, and stimulation of the wound healing process. The highly concentrated level of growth factors found in PRP may optimize the most effective conditions for healing.

Am I a candidate?
The use of PRP is considered by any to be a “new frontier” of regenerative therapy. Since clinical studies have shown that PRP can be used in many types of procedures for a wide range of patients, you should discuss your specific treatment with your doctor.

How could PRP be used for My Treatment?
The use of PRP varies from procedure to procedure. PRP is generally applied topically to the repair site. It is often applied to bone and soft tissue repair sites to accelerate tissue regeneration. Clinical studies have shown that application of PRP can help reduce bleeding, minimize pain, reduce infection rates, and optimize overall healing.

Is PRP safe?
Yes, PRP has been used clinically for over a decade. Leading clniicians in specialiities such as Orthopedics and Sports Medicine routinely use PRP to deliver a cocktail of natural, bioactive growth factors. PRP is derived from a small quantity of your own blood drawn at the time of treatment. Because PRP is made from your own blood, it is insulated against the risk of disease transmission and inflammatory immune responses. PRP is made point of care at the time of treatment and under your physician’s control.

Will it hurt?
Some patients report swelling and stiffness or mild to moderate discomfort lasting a few hours after the injection. This is a normal response and is a sign that the treatment is working. Over time, the affected area will begin to heal and strengthen and you will experience considerably less pain.

 

TREATMENT BENFITS:

  • Renews, repairs and promotes grown factors for pain/ injuries
  • Promotes and releases natural regenerative growth factors
  • Release anti-inflammatory agents to aid the healing process
  • Improve joint, tendon and ligament functions
  • No risk of allergic or adverse reaction
  • Little to no downtime, a safe and fast recovery
  • Promotes new tissue growth, and healing properties

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy – An Alternative to Surgery

Most people would prefer to avoid surgery unless it is absolutely necessary or needed to save their lives. As with any medical procedure, surgery comes with its own set of risks, primarily related to having to be placed under general anesthesia. General anesthesia in and of itself exposes the patient to potential complications, including cardiac arrest, over-medication, or even death.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy offers an alternative to many surgeries that are performed for musculoskeletal pain and injury, including sports injuries. PRP therapy provides an in-office option that typically takes under an hour to complete. Anesthesia is not required and patients are generally able to perform activities within the next few days. Their activities may need to be altered due to the nature of the injury, but doctors who are experienced in PRP Therapy and rehabilitation are able to provide the patient with a program to ease them back into a full exercise regime and/or back to the sport(s) they wish to play.

Except in life threatening situations, surgery and its associated potential complications should become the last resort after all conservative treatments options have been exhausted. It should not be the first line treatment. Chronic pain is not a life-threatening situation so it should not be considered an automatic indication for surgery, which is far too often advised when other more conservative treatments exist but are often not offered.

Conservative treatments including the following or a combination of the following should first be considered: natural supplements, massage, physical therapy, chiropractic/osteopathic care, short-term medications, and PRP Therapy.

Reasons to avoid surgery

  • Rehabilitation time and costs:  Rehabilitation after surgery requires much more time than after conservative treatments such as Prolotherapy and may often require many days of hospitalization and months of rehabilitative therapy, often out-of-pocket to the patient.
  • Cost of surgery: The cost of surgery is huge compared to Prolotherapy. Just because surgery may be a so-called covered procedure by the insurance carrier, does not mean the patient will not be left with large medical bills related to co-pays. Often Prolotherapy is a much less expensive option, even if insurance may not cover its costs or only partially cover it.  This is obviously a preferred option especially if the surgery may or may not work and the patient may end up needing Prolotherapy after the unsuccessful surgery.
  • Trauma to the body and general anesthesia: Surgery is much more traumatic to the body and puts it under a tremendous stress. Recovering from general anesthesia often takes months to achieve full recovery and energy. Patients often take months to feel able to fully utilize the body part that received surgery. Prolotherapy produces local inflammation and the body typically heals very quickly after the procedure.
  • Time off from work: Most surgeries require the patient to be off of work for at least 1 week with rehabilitation lasting upwards of 6-10 weeks. Prolotherapy is done in an outpatient clinic setting with a recovery time of typically less than 24 hours. Most people go back to work on the same day as the procedure, depending on the area treated.
  • Ability to exercise while undergoing treatment: Surgery requires the patient abstain from exercising and it often takes months to get back the ability to maintain a full exercise regime. Prolotherapy done by an experienced Prolotherapy physician allows the patients to return to exercise or modified exercise programs the day or two after treatment in most cases.
  • Perceived poor outcomes and/or certainty of recovery: Many patients want to avoid surgery due to the possibility that the surgery may actually worsen their condition and/or leave them with a new problem. The ineffectiveness of many of the usual and customary surgeries performed for musculoskeletal  injuries is well documented.  Prolotherapy will  typically accelerate the body’s healing and rarely if ever worsens a person’s condition.
  • Potential irreversible complications: With surgery comes all sorts of potential complications. Once something is removed from your body, you cannot put it back. If the meniscus is removed, you are now left to live the rest of your life without it and its function (provides cushion).
  • Does not cause growth of injured tissue: Surgery will never cause growth of new tissue. Surgery typically involves removing tissue and/or structures of the body. Prolotherapy stimulates the body to repair itself.

Surgeries that can be avoided using Prolotherapy

  • Knee surgeries: ACL/PCL/MCL repair, meniscectomy, joint replacement, arthroscopy
  • Shoulder surgeries: labrum repair, rotator cuff tear repair, SLAP lesion repair, joint replacement
  • Back surgeries: laminectomy, discectomy, lumbar fusion
  • Neck surgeries: cervical fusion, herniated disc repair
  • Ankle surgeries: ankle fusion, torn ligaments, arthroscopy, joint replacement
  • Wrist surgeries: carpal tunnel surgery, wrist fusion
  • Hip surgeries: labrum repairs, avascular necrosis, torn ligaments, joint replacement

Video: PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)

Dr. Steven Sampson Demonstrates PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) On The Doctors TV Show