An alternative approach to healing tendon and ligament injuries
What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?
PRP is blood plasma with concentrated platelets. The concentrated platelets found in PRP contain huge reserves of bioactive proteins, including growth factors that are vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. These bioactive proteins initiate connective tissue healing: bone, tendon and ligament regeneration and repair, promote development of new blood vessels, and stimulate the wound healing process.
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 separates out the PRP using a specific protocol. The separation process takes less than 15 minutes and increases the concentration of platelets and growth factors up to 500%.
When PRP is injected into a targeted treatment area, such as tissue with damage, it stimulates the tendon or ligament, causing a mild inflammation that triggers a cascade of healing processes. As a result new collagen begins to develop. As this collagen matures it begins to shrink causing the tightening and strengthening of the tendons or ligaments of the damaged area.
What are the potential benefits?
Patients can see a significant improvement from symptoms. This may eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments such as long tern medication or surgery as well as a remarkable return of function.
What can be treated?
PRP injections can be performed in tendons, ligaments and connective tissue all over the body, Sports injuries, arthritic joints, lower back, degenerative disc disease and more specific injuries including tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, ACL tears, shin splints, rotator cuff tears, plantar fasciitis and Iliotibial (IT) band syndrome can all be effectively treated with PRP.
Is PRP right for me?
If you have a tendon, ligament or connective tissue injury and traditional methods have not provided relief, then PRP therapy may be the solution. The procedure is less aggressive and less expensive than surgery. It will heal tissue with minimal or no scarring and alleviates further degeneration of the tissues. There will be an initial evaluation with your doctor to see if PRP therapy is right for you.
Are there any special instructions?
You are restricted from the use of non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) one week prior to the procedure and throughout the course of treatments.
Initially the procedure may cause some localized soreness and discomfort. Heat maybe applied to the area as needed.
The first week after the procedure, patients will typically start to rehabilitate the injured area with a program of physical therapy. However, aggressive physical therapy is discouraged for several weeks.
How soon can I go back to regular physical activities?
PRP therapy helps regenerate tendons and ligaments but it is not a quick fix. The therapy stimulates the growth and repair of tendons, ligaments and connective tissue, and requires several visits. Your doctor will determine when you are able and ready to resume regular physical activities.
What can I do to prepare for the treatment?
It is important to be properly hydrated before each treatment. Ensure that you drink at least 2 liters of water for several days prior to your appointment. It is also recommended that you discontinue anti-inflammatory medications (unless they are for conditions other than what is being treated) for 48 hours prior to your treatment. Finally, be sure to have a meal before the treatment.