Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
WHAT IS PLATELET-RICH PLASMA?
PRP, otherwise known as Platelet Rich Plasma, is a relatively new technique used to help aid in the recovery of soft tissue injuries and arthritic conditions (tendons, ligaments and cartilage). These concentrated platelets found in PRP contain huge reservoirs of bio-active protein, including growth factors that are vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. The goal of these bio-active proteins is to stimulate connective tissue healing, bone regeneration and repair, promote development of new blood vessels, and stimulate the wound healing process.
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN BE TREATED WITH PRP?
PRP injections can be performed in tendons, ligaments and joints all over the body. Numerous common musculoskeletal conditions and sports injuries are treated with PRP; these include:
- Patellar tendonitis/tendinosis
- Quadriceps muscle injuries
- Ligament sprains and tears
- Hip muscle pain or injury
- Sacroiliac joint pain
- Hamstring tendonitis or tears
Shoulder and Arm Pain
- Rotator Cuff tendonitis, tendonopathy and partial tears
- A-C joint pain and arthritis
- Biceps tendonitis
- Medial and Lateral epicondylitis (golfers and tennis elbow)
Lower Leg and Foot Pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Shin Splints
- Peroneal tendonitis
- Ankle sprains
- Achilles tendonitis and partial tears
IS PRP RIGHT FOR ME? WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
If you have a tendon or ligament injury, arthritic joint. meniscus tear, rotator cuff injury, shoulder pain, or bursitis and traditional methods have not provided relief, then PRP therapy may be the solution. The procedure is less aggressive and less expensive than surgery. It heals tissue with minimal or no scarring and alleviates further degeneration of the tissues and can lessen the severity of arthritis. Moreover, many patients are excited about not being out of work or ‘out of commission’ during their recovery. It is exciting to have this option.
HOW DOES PRP THERAPY WORK?
During PRP therapy, a small sample of the patient’s blood is drawn (similar to a lab test sample) and placed in a centrifuge that spins the blood at high speeds, separating the platelets from other blood components. The process takes less than 15 minutes and increases the concentration of platelets and growth factors up to 500% greater than levels found in your own blood. The concentrated Platelet Rich Plasma is then injected into and around the point of injury, strengthening the body’s natural healing agent.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS?
You are restricted from the use of non-steroid anti-inﬂammatory medications (NSAIDs) one day prior to the procedure and one day after the PRP injection. Initially the procedure may cause some localized soreness and discomfort. Most patients only require some extra strength Tylenol to help with the pain. Ice and heat may be applied to the area as needed. The first week after the procedure, patients will typically start a rehabilitation program with physical therapy. However, aggressive physical activity is discouraged.
HOW SOON CAN I GO BACK TO REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY? WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED RESULTS?
The goal is to resolve pain through healing. It can help regenerate tendons and ligaments and cartilage but it is not a quick fix. This therapy is stimulating the growth and repair of tendons, ligaments and cartilage requiring time and rehabilitation. The need for surgery can also be greatly reduced by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Darr and treating injured tissues before the damage progresses and the condition is irreversible.
WHAT ARE CYTOKINES? AND HOW DO THEY WORK?
Cytokines are the signaling molecules of your body – they tell your platelets and stem cells where to go by guiding and directing them to the localized injured parts of your body. These signalers also help heal and repair problematic musculoskeletal conditions and connective tissue, which are crucial to the healing and repairing of your body. Without them the rest of your body wouldn’t know what to repair or when.
HOW DO CYTOKINES APPLY TO ORTHOPEDICS? AND HOW CAN CYTOKINE THERAPY ENHANCE PRP TREATMENTS?
Cytokines play a crucial role in initiating, maintaining, and regulating immunologic homeostatic and inﬂammatory processes. These same Cytokines address orthopedic injuries, such as osteoarthritis, tendonitis and bursitis. They perform by sending signals to the localized cells when repair begins However at the site of injury, there is also an overﬂow that can interfere with some of the repair which explains why so often, natural repair is limited. By using combinations of certain cytokines, like growth factors and interleukins, we can now tailor repair based on speciﬁc tissue (tendon or cartilage). These FDA registered oral cytokines are used both before and after PRP & regenerative procedures to customize a desired biologic effect depending on the individuals baseline level of inﬂammation and underlying capacity to heal. Patients heal differently and utilizing cytokine therapy allows the Physician to address some variables that limit the body’s capacity to self-heal. Simply increasing the amplitude of growth factors with PRP is not enough in some cases. Cytokines can increase or decrease particular proteins based on the individual. More and more technology in regenerative medicine continues to target this specific need to customize therapy.