What is a PRP injection?
PRP Injections, or Platelet Rich Plasma, is a concentrated preparation of a patient’s own blood for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain. PRP is a type of Regenerative Injection Therapy that has been effectively used in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine for healing tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints. Top athletes like Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, and Ray Lewis have all received amazing results and gotten back in the game with a shorter recovery time. Platelet rich plasma has over 8,000 peer-reviewed journal studies showing promise across the medical field.
How does PRP Therapy work?
To prepare PRP, a small amount of blood is taken from the patient. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins and automatically produces the PRP. The entire process takes less than 15 minutes and increases the concentration of platelets and growth factors up to 500%. When PRP is injected into the damaged area, it stimulates the tendon or ligament to activate the healing cascade. As a result new collagen begins to form in the injured tissue. As this collagen matures, it becomes stronger and tighter, and eventually allows the tendon or ligament to withstand the stress of daily and sports related activities.
What are the potential benefits?
Patients can see a significant improvement in symptoms. This may eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments such as long term medication or surgery, as well as a remarkable return of function. In addition, PRP has been reported to accelerate tissue healing by as much as 50%.
I’ve heard of Cortisone Shots; is this the same?
Studies have shown that cortisone injections may actually weaken tissue. Cortisone shots may provide temporary pain relief and stop inflammation, but they do not provide long term healing. PRP therapy heals and strengthens these tendons and ligaments, strengthening and thickening the tissue up to 40% in some cases.
What can be treated?
PRP injections can be performed in tendons and ligaments all over the body. Sports injuries, any appropriate tendon injury that your physician feels would benefit from PRP can be treated, including tennis elbow, ACL tears, rotator cuff tears, plantar fasciitis and iliotibial band syndrome may all be effectively treated with PRP. In addition, PRP has been reported to have an anti-inflammatory response when used for osteoarthritis.
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