What is PRP Therapy?
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
According to the World Health Organization, soft tissue injuries account for 45 percent of all musculoskeletal injuries in the US and are the most common cause of severe long-term pain and physical disability. For decades, the best option for treating these injuries was to inject local anesthetics and anti-inflammatory steroids into the affected area to reduce swelling and pain. That is until it was learned that prolonged use of steroid injections may not be beneficial. Thankfully, advances in medical science now enable physicians to treat these kinds of injuries with a more targeted approach in the form of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. It’s an autologous (obtained from the same individual) blood therapy that uses a patient’s own blood components to stimulate a healing response in damaged tissues, thereby providing an alternative to invasive surgery by promoting
safe and natural healing.
A Nonsurgical Option for Musculoskeletal Conditions
Advanced Sports Medicine Center in Sarasota, Florida, offers PRP therapy, a popular injection process for the repair and regeneration of connective tissue to aid healing and lessen pain due to orthopedic injuries in the shoulders, knees, hips, neck, back, etc. PRP therapy helps the body heal itself by delivering a higher concentration of platelets directly into the affected area. Here’s how it works: A sample of your blood is drawn and then spun in a centrifuge at high speed to separate the platelets from other (red and white) blood cells and plasma. Next, the increased concentration of platelets is combined with the remaining plasma and injected back into the precise area that needs repair. Platelets contain growth factors that trigger and enhance the body’s natural healing process.
Since your own blood is used, PRP therapy has been shown to be safe with no risk of transmissible infection and a very low risk of allergic reaction. It has been used to effectively treat a wide range of conditions, including:
- Osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder, hip, and spine
- Rotator cuff strains and strains
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears
- Pelvic pain and instability
- Back and neck injuries
- Tennis elbow<133>
- Tendonitis<116> and ligament sprains
- Chronic knee pain
- Muscle Strains
The goal of PRP therapy is to resolve pain through healing. Because natural healing is a gradual process, patients may see initial improvement within a few weeks and greater improvement as the healing progresses. Studies have shown that PRP therapy can be effective in enabling patients to regain normal, pain-free function in the long term. Likewise, ultrasound and MRI images have confirmed definitive tissue repair following PRP therapy. It also greatly reduces the need for surgery by treating injured tissues before the damage worsens and the condition becomes irreversible.
Is PRP Therapy Right for You?
If you experience a tendon or ligament injury that is not responding to conservative treatment methods, PRP therapy may provide a solution without the need for invasive and expensive surgery. There is minimal or no scarring with PRP therapy, minimal if any side effects, and no downtime. The relatively painless procedure is performed in the doctor’s office and only takes about one hour, including preparation and recovery time. As a matter of fact, most patients return to their normal activities immediately following the procedure.