PLATELET RICH PLASMA THERAPY
A New Approach for Treating Tendon Injuries
Current treatments for chronic tendon injuries are temporary in nature and do not provide long-term relief. In fact, cortisone injections have been shown to increase the risk of tendon rupture and are not recommended for repeated use.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy?
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, or PRP, is a treatment option for non-healing tendon injuries, including Achilles tendonitis. PRP technology was developed 20 years ago for heart surgery to aide with wound healing and blood loss. Its benefits are now being applied toward the facilitation of healing tendon injuries.
How does a PRP procedure work?
Using the patient’s own blood, specially prepared platelets are taken and then re-injected into the tendon of the affected area. These platelets release substances known as “growth factors” that lead to tissue healing. For example, when you cut yourself, the body’s natural response is to attract platelets that release growth factors and facilitate healing. By concentrating the platelets, we increase the growth factor percentage, which promotes healing of the tendons. Other treatment options may provide temporary relief and stop inflammation, but PRP injections promote actual healing of the tendon over time. PRP injections facilitate the natural healing process of your body.
Is PRP right for me?
Patients should consider PRP treatment if they have been diagnosed with a tendon injury in which conservative treatment such as anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, and bracing have no provided symptomatic relief. For more patients, PRP offers a solid alternative treatment for those who do not wish to have surgery.
What are potential benefits of PRP treatment?
Pain reduction and a dramatic return of function are the expected result over time. Patients can expect to see significant improvement in symptoms; elimination of the need for more traditional treatments, such as medications, cortisone injections, or surgery.
How do I prepare for an injection?
Patients will be scheduled for an evaluation to determine if PRP is a viable treatment option. An MRI may be done to ensure a proper diagnosis and that there is no major tear in the tendon that might best be treated surgically. The PRP injection usually takes about 30 minutes. Do not take anti-inflammatories one week prior to the injection, as this will limit the treatment benefits.
How do I care for my injection site after treatment?
Initially the procedure may cause some localized soreness and discomfort. Patients may apply ice and elevation as needed. It is not advisable to take anti-inflammatory medications following the injection.
What are the side effects?
Although uncommon, the risks include symptoms associated with an injection, including: pain, injection, no relief of symptoms, worsening of symptoms, blood clot, nerve injury, skin discoloration, calcification, scarring, loss of fat to the affected area, and allergic reaction. After the injection, if you experience any of the above side affects, please contact the doctor.
How soon can I go back to regular physical activity?
This treatment is not a quick fix, and is designed to promote long-term healing of the tendon. The process of PRP requires time and rehabilitation to allow the injured tendon to heal. Through regular follow-up visits, you doctor can determine when you are able to resume normal physical activities.
Call our office now to make an appointment.