A lot of people report dealing with injuries of some sort, whether they are collegiate athletes, enjoy casual recreational activities or take part in regular exercise. PRP therapy, also known as Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy is an emerging technology and technique in sports medicine. It is a type of treatment that promotes long lasting healing of certain musculoskeletal conditions and therefore is effective in relieving pain. PRP therapy was first used in 1987 following an open-heart surgery.
PRP therapy has been used to many fields such as sports medicine, orthopedics, ENT, urology, dentistry, neurosurgery, maxillofacial, and cardiothoracic surgery. The PRP procedure is a treatment option that stresses on healing injuries on a patient’s body through concentrating growth factors from the patient’s own blood.
How the PRP procedure works
A human beings blood is made white and red blood cells, platelets, and plasma. When an injury occurs, the body’s platelets are activated and they release healing proteins known as growth factors. These growth factors work by speeding up wound and tissue healing.
Due to the fact that platelet-rich plasma can easily be obtained from the blood of a patient, it is an attractive source of these growth factors as it contains a concentration of PDGF (attracts stem cells for repairing the body), TGF-β (increases musculoskeletal connective tissue), epidermal growth factor (stimulates connective tissue growth), fibroblast growth factor-2 (stimulates oxygen and nutrient flow), and vascular endothelial growth factors.
During the PRP procedure, trained staff and experienced physicians draw a tiny amount of blood from the patient and place it in an FDA approved device. It is then spun in a centrifuge for about 15 minutes at over 3,000 RPM. The different parts of the blood are separated by the centrifuge and the PRP is also separated from the other components. Once the blood has been separated in the centrifuge, the concentrated PRP is then injected into the area where the patient has been injured with the use of ultrasound image guidance. This ensures that the PRP is administered to the location that will be most beneficial to the patient.
The Benefits of PRP Therapy
There are many reasons a patient should consider PRP therapy. They are:
It is a safe procedure: PRP therapy is performed by skilled and trained physicians who utilize ultrasound guidance to deliver the PRP to the injured tissue and watch it cover the tissue and avoid areas that will not be as beneficial to the patient. Most physicians these days are well aware of the PRP procedure.
It has an easy recovery time: Patients who have undergone PRP therapy report minimal to moderate discomfort after the injection which last up to a week. This is a healthy and expected healing response. Modification of activity and elevation of the limb is suggested and if the pain is very severe, pain medication is recommended. Though rest is sometimes suggested, many patients report being able to work shortly after the injection or continue with their normal activities.
It exhibits a potential benefit: The PRP procedure help to decrease pain, increase performance in the injured area, and could also speed recovery time potentially.
It has a low risk of infection: Due to the fact that the PRP procedure is carried out using the patient’s own blood, the risk of infection is decreased.
Palm Beach Sports Medicine is a professional association of expert orthopedic surgeons for 30years offering PRP therapy to their patients in the Palm Beach area. Schedule an appointment today for any questions related to sports injury, foot and ankle injury, hand and wrist pain or for any solutions to orthopedic problems.