Platelet-Rich-Plasma (PRP) Therapy
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy uses a concentrate of the patient’s own platelets to accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints. In short, PRP therapy uses the patient’s own healing system to improve his/her musculoskeletal problems. PRP is not a recent development – it has been used for more than 25 years in oral and maxillofacial surgery, otorhinolaryngology, plastic surgery, and general surgery, with multiple case series reports showing overall improvement in soft tissue healing.
The PRP concentrate is plasma with many more platelets than what is typically found in blood. Platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood. They also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which are very important in the healing of injuries. The concentration of platelets — and, thereby, the concentration of growth factors in PRP, can be 5 to 10 times greater (or richer) than usual.
Various famous professional athletes like NBA Basketball player Kobe Bryant and Baseball player Alex Rodriguez have received PRP therapy for various problems such as arthritic knee and post hip surgery. It offers faster healing for sports injuries because the patient’s very own tissues are used to treat the injured cartilage, muscle, or tendon.
How is the PRP process done and what does it do?
Firstly, blood is drawn from a patient. The platelets are then separated from other blood cells and their concentration is increased during a process called centrifugation. The plasma with increased concentration of platelets (PRP) is then administered to the injured area.
This can be done in one of two ways:
- PRP can be carefully injected into the injured area. For example, in Achilles tendonitis, a condition commonly seen in runners and tennis players, the heel cord can become swollen, inflamed, and painful. PRP can be injected directly into this inflamed tissue. Afterwards, the pain at the area of injection may actually increase for the first week or two, and it may be several weeks before the patient feels a beneficial effect.
- PRP may also be used to improve healing after surgery for some injuries. For example, an athlete with a completely torn heel cord may require surgery to repair the tendon. Healing of the torn tendon can possibly be improved by treating the injured area with PRP during surgery. Recent studies have also found out that PRP injections to the knees can improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Which areas can PRP be used to treat?
PRP therapy is mainly used to repair:
• Damaged cartilage
PRP injections are used for the treatment of common conditions such as:
• Knee pain or Knee Osteoarthritis
• Achilles Tendonitis
• Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
• Tennis Elbow
• Patellar Tendonitis
• Plantar Fasciitis
Benefits of PRP treatment?
- Speeds up tissue healing
- Stimulates the body to repair painful areas
- Enhances surgical outcome
- Low risk of side effects
- Low risk of complications
- Low risk of blood-borne infections or an anaphylactic reaction
- Does not require pain killers or strong medication
- Cost efficient compared to surgical alternatives
One of the largest studies examining PRP treatment involved 230 patients with chronic tennis elbow, with 2 groups receiving either PRP or traditional treatment. After 24 weeks, 84% of patients who had been injected with PRP reported a reduction in pain of 25% or more. This compares with 68.3% of the control group who presented with similar results.
A study involving 99 patients with chronic inflammation of the tendons received injections after suffering symptoms for an average of three years. The tendon conditions included tennis elbow, jumper’s knee, hamstring tendinosis, Achilles tendinosis, and plantar fasciitis. After PRP therapy, the majority reported pain relief, with those who received leukocyte-poor PRP experiencing the best results.
Is there any downtime?
Platelets Rich Plasma (PRP) is a useful therapy to treat orthopaedic soft tissue problems. After the PRP injection, patients may experience mild pain and swelling at the injected site, but may resume their daily activities without a problem.
Our doctor provide consultation, treatment and surgery for sports injuries of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee and ankle.
- Same-day admission
- Wheelchair accessible
- X-Ray, CT/MRI scan available