Several well-known athletes have discussed using platelet rich plasma (PRP) for issues such as tendon injuries and sprains, which minimizes the need to turn to other treatments like medications or surgery.
Despite its popularity among athletes, there are still lingering questions that many patients have about PRP.
Your blood is made up of plasma, white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Your platelets aid with clotting blood and also contain proteins that are called growth factors. These growth factors play a significant role in healing injuries.
How a Platelet Rich Plasma Injection Works
A platelet rich plasma injection is prepared by making a concentration of platelets that is greater than what is found naturally in your blood. In fact, this concentration can be 5 to 10 times greater. This is done by drawing blood from the patient and then using a centrifuge to separate the blood’s components. The increased concentration is combined with plasma for the injection.
PRP is carefully injected into the targeted area in order to speed up healing. It can be used to target an injury, such as Achilles tendonitis, or to help improve healing and recovery after a surgery.
What to Expect
After your injection, you might find that the pain in the targeted area actually increases slightly for a week or so. This is due to the discomfort from the injection. After this one to two week period, you will begin to notice the benefits.
The effectiveness of a PRP injection can vary according to many factors, including your overall health, the area that is being treated, and how severe your injury is. Research suggests that PRP is most effective when used for chronic tendon injuries, such as tennis elbow, jumper’s knee, and Achilles tendonitis.
Candidates for PRP
Your doctor can help you determine if you are a good fit for a platelet rich plasma injection. You might benefit if you are suffering from muscle injuries, ligament injuries, or knee arthritis. In many cases, the use of PRP may be beneficial in helping to provide relief so that you are able to participate in other methods of treatment, such as physical therapy.
Doctors are not sure exactly how PRP works, but clinical studies have shown that the concentrated growth factors in the injection can speed up the process of healing after an injury or surgery. Contact us today to learn more.