Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is a sports medicine treatment for injuries to relieve pain and promote healing. PRP treatment is used extensively by professional athletes to get them back in the game as soon as possible.
Platelets in the blood or liquid plasma are important for clotting. The blood platelet level in your blood must be adequate to stop bleeding from an injury. These platelets also contain proteins tagged as growth factors that will stimulate healing.
PRP Treatment involves a few steps. The patient’s blood is removed and the platelets are separated out and placed in a special centrifuge. This increases the concentration of platelets that are then reintroduced to the blood. The platelet enriched plasma is then injected into the affected area, usually a joint, that is causing pain. The area is numbed prior to the injection.
Injuries Benefiting From PRP
Several joint tendon injuries can benefit from PRP with or without surgery. This includes:
- Tennis elbow
- Achilles tendon inflammation
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee injuries
- Wrist and hand problems
- Lower back injuries
- Arthritis pain in some joints
The platelet rich plasma is often injected into the elbow or the swollen Achilles tendon to encourage healing. Tennis players, runners, jumpers and other athletes use this treatment as an alternative to surgery.
PRP is also used to stimulate healing after some surgeries. A special treatment for heel surgery allows the PRP blood to be included in the surgery before the incision is closed.
PRP has proven most successful for inflamed tendons, as well as some ligament and muscle problems such as pulled hamstrings. Sports medicine experts are still working on the benefit from PRP treatments for other injuries. There are no harmful side effects from this procedure since the patient is receiving his or her own blood back into the body.
This treatment is not a “quick fix” as it may take a month or more for the healing process. If an additional treatment is necessary, it is administered a month or more after the first treatment.
3D Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center in Indian Harbour Beach offers the PRP treatment to athletes who have experienced various sports injuries. This is a painless procedure for adults and teenagers. Contact 3D Sports Medicine for more information on Platelet Rich Plasma injections.