PRP Platelet Rich Plasma Orthopedic Injections
Wilton Manors Florida PRP Orthopedic Clinic BeWell Medspa offers Platelet Rich Plasma to relieve painful joints, or a sports injury. Platelet Rich Plasma therapy may be able to help you heal quicker and to avoid surgery.
Platelet rich plasma injections (PRP) are regarded as a revolutionary modality of care in the regenerative medicines. Due to the hazardous, long term complications that surgical interventions may entail, less invasive procedures like PRP are getting extremely popular as a safer alternative than surgery in the optimal management of soft tissue injuries.
Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is blood plasma with concentrated platelets. The concentrated platelets found in PRP contain large reservoirs of bioactive proteins, including growth factors that are vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. These bioactive proteins initiate connective tissue healing for bone, tendon and ligament regeneration. They help to promote development of new blood vessels and help to stimulate the wound healing process.
PRP therapy, which takes approximately twenty minutes to complete, begins with collection of 30 milliliters of the patient’s blood. The blood sample is placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the other components of whole blood. Doctors then inject the concentrated platelets into the site of the injury often using ultrasound guidance for accuracy. Platelets function as a natural reservoir for growth factors that are essential to repair injured tissues. The growth factors that the platelets secrete stimulate tissue recovery by increasing collagen production, enhancing tendon stem cell proliferation, and tenocyte-related gene and protein expression. These growth factors also stimulate blood flow and cause cartilage to become more firm and resilient. PRP activates tenocytes to proliferate quickly and produce collagen to repair injured tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and muscles.
Platelet rich plasma therapy is the re-administration of your own platelets to activate the body’s natural healing process to help in repair and regeneration. High concentrations of platelets also stimulate the release of growth factors that further aid in tissue regeneration.
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy for Joint Health and Treatment
PRP technique has been in use for over 2 decades, especially in the surgical field where orthopedic surgeons have used PRP to enhance the pace of healing. Various research studies have suggested that utilization of PRP can offer valuable benefits in soft tissue injuries as well as degenerative bone conditions such as spinal disc degeneration or arthritis.
PRP therapy has become extremely popular in the past few years, especially for the management of soft tissue injuries to restore the normal quality of life and performance in professional athletes. For example, 27-year old basketball player, Brandon Roy (the Portland guard) was able to announce his comeback in 2012, just one year after declaring his retirement due to chronic knee discomfort. Before opting for retirement, Roy underwent 6 knee surgeries but to no avail. Then he underwent PRP therapy and it worked wonders.
PRP therapy starts by drawing blood from an athlete, then spinning that blood in a centrifuge until there is a concentration of plasma cells and growth factors. That substance is then injected into the athlete’s injured tissue. In theory, the substance speeds healing and improves the tissues health.
Today, the data and statistical evidence on the effectiveness of PRP therapy is still in the early stages, yet a lot of professional athletes and sports personnel consider it superior to surgical alternatives.
- Injuries Treated with PRP Therapy
Injuries Treated with PRP Therapy
Based on early clinical medical research done so far, the following injuries and soft tissue conditions respond well to PRP therapy:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL) tears
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Injuries to ligaments and muscles
- Chronic lower back pain
- Spinal stenosis
- Tennis elbow
- Acute and chronic tendon problems
- Joint fractures
- Plantar fasciitis
- Neck pain
- Rotator cuff tears
- Morton’s neuroma
- Advantages of PRP Therapy vs Surgical Intervention
Advantages of PRP Therapy vs Surgical Intervention
Most people believe that Platelet Rich Plasma therapy is still in the experimental stages especially for the management of soft tissue injuries. Here are a few reasons why many professional athletes prefer PRP over surgical interventions or other invasive procedures:
- Platelet-rich plasma injections are extremely safe and do not affect the endurance, stamina or athletic vigor of patients
- The risks of any side-effects or long-term complications are very rare. For example, most patients report only mild side effects like localized pain lasting only a few days, some swelling and injection site stiffness. On the contrary, most surgical interventions are associated with residual disability, chronic stiffness, extensive scarring and tissue fibrosis that may complicate the rehabilitation process.
- PRP injections are performed with local anesthesia under ultrasound guidance which significantly improves the precision of procedure and quality of results.
- No long-term rest or rehabilitation is necessary, unlike surgeries that require long period of rehabilitation and post-surgical recovery.
- Depending upon the initial extent of an injury, the overall process of healing may take a few weeks, and rarely, up to a few months. While most patients do not require more than 1 -2 injections, you should know that complete regeneration of damaged collagen may require multiple sessions. In the early post-therapy period (2-3 weeks after the PRP injection), most patients report remarkable improvement in the severity of symptoms such as pain and discomfort.
If you are looking to restore the anatomical and physiological health of your joints and soft tissue elements, speak to your doctor to see if you are a candidate for Platelet Rich Plasma therapy.
- PRP Therapy and Professional Athletes
PRP Therapy and Professional Athletes
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy has been used by professional athletes and laymen alike. Aside from A-Rod, other famous athletes who have given the semi-experimental treatment a try include golf mega-star Tiger Woods and baseball pitchers Takashi Saito and Cliff Lee. Many athletes have experienced great results but not every one of them has. The procedure has been very effective for some and less than impressive results for others, though no harmful effects have ever been reported.
According to a Scientific American article, “PRP injections in his elbow may have been the reason that Los Angeles Dodgers’s pitcher, Takashi Saito, was able to return to the mound for the 2008 Major League Baseball playoffs.”
Alex Rodriguez used PRP therapy after he underwent hip surgery in 2009. He had a total of five PRP therapy sessions, after which he reportedly felt great. PRP therapy helped speed up the healing process so that A-Rod was able to return to the field earlier than he and the team’s doctor anticipated.
Tiger Woods has undergone several surgeries to treat various ailments, including a major ACL repair. After struggling to regain his former strength and functionality in the knee, Woods decided to take a different approach to care. After having access to the world’s best doctors and treatments, he opted for an experimental course of care called Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy. There have been numerous studies that have proven its effectiveness in treating injuries. The procedure is believed to help improve the conditions of those who undergo it by 80% or more.
Tiger Woods has only had good things to say about the emerging therapy. After undergoing it to speed up his recovery from ACL surgery, he commented, via a press conference that he felt good and strong after receiving it. It also came to light that Wood used the therapy to treat an Achilles tendon injury he had been suffering from as well.
In a press conference Woods gave the following statement,
“I had PRP, platelet enriched plasma treatments, and basically what that is that that they draw blood from your arm spin it in a centrifuge and spin the plasma into the entries. As you all know, 2008 I brew out my ACL and part of my reconstruction with my LCL, it wasn’t reacting properly, it was a little bit stuck. And so I had the PRP injection into my LCL.”
In addition to these athletes, dozens of other athletes have been said to have benefitted from this treatment. Many athletes such as Peyton Manning, Hines Ward, Kobe Bryant, Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal, and Brandon Roy have all been said to have undergone PRP therapy. That is just a very small part of the list of athletes who have been said to have used the treatment with success.
There have been several clinical trials and many articles published in the last few years about the use of PRP treatments for specific injuries or conditions. Although there is not a vast amount of scientific proof of the efficacy of PRP injections many of the published articles stated an obvious improvement of the injury in some conditions. PRP in treatment of osteoarthritis of the knees had very positive outcomes. Current research is being done to provide more insight into the efficacy of using PRP treatments in many injuries.