Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: A Non-Surgical Solution for Soft Tissue Injuries

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: A Non-Surgical Solution for Soft Tissue Injuries

PRP_illustrationAlthough Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy has been in use for a couple of decades, it has only recently gained traction in the treatment of certain orthopedic injuries. Professional athletes such as football players Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers made headlines for quickly returning to play following PRP therapy for injuries that otherwise would have sidelined them for months.

But professional athletes aren’t the only ones who can benefit; weekend warriors of all ages can speed the recovery of acute and chronic soft tissue injuries with PRP treatment. And if you’re looking for a non-surgical solution to pain and healing, PRP therapy can eliminate the need for surgery and may be used as a treatment for those who are not candidates for surgery.

How does PRP therapy work?

Platelet-rich plasma facilitates healing by attracting stem cells to the site of injury. Stem cells are the body’s “repairmen,” and they travel to injured areas of the body through the blood stream. However, certain structures within the body, such as tendons, ligaments, cartilage and joints, have a poor blood supply and, when injured, cannot attract enough stem cells to kick start the healing process.

PRP therapy uses components of the body's own blood cells to stimulate the natural healing process. We draw a small sample of your own blood and spin it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets, growth factors, and white blood cells. Using ultrasound guidance for targeted placement, we inject the platelets and growth factors into the injured tissue. The high concentration of platelets then releases more growth factors and proteins, which attract stem cells to the area and jump-starts the repair process. For minor soft tissue injuries, the body is usually able to send enough stem cells in to repair the injury.

How many PRP treatments will I need?

PRP_ProcedureIt depends on the area to be treated, the extent of injury and your body’s response to the therapy. You may need 2 or more injections, which are typically given 4 to 6 weeks apart. The procedure takes approximately one to two hours, including drawing the blood, preparing the plasma and giving the injection. It is performed in the comfort of our office, and you can return to work or your daily activities immediately after receiving therapy. And since you are receiving your own blood, there are no side effects and no risk of an allergic reaction or rejection.

What can I expect after treatment?

You may experience some discomfort surrounding the affected area for several days following treatment. For tendon and ligament injuries, you will probably start to feel pain relief after about a week. While there is no downtime from normal activities after PRP therapy, you should avoid stressful activities and heavy exercise for six weeks to allow the treatment time to reach its full effect.

What injuries or conditions does PRP therapy treat?

In both clinical research and individual case studies, PRP therapy has proven effective in decreasing the pain associated with acute and chronic tendon and ligament injuries, such as partial tears, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, rotator cuff injuries, knee ligament injuries, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, quadriceps and patellar tendonitis, strains and sprains.

PRP therapy may be an excellent alternative to surgery and a viable treatment for those who are not candidates for surgery. It is typically an effective treatment solution for an injury that is not severe.

Patients seeking pain relief from chronic injuries and conditions can benefit from PRP therapy, as can those suffering from an acute injury who are looking to speed up their recovery and return to play as soon as possible.

Learn more about PRP therapy and find out if you’re a candidate for this state-of-the-art, non-surgical procedure. Call Fountain Medical Group in New York City at 212.327.1316 to schedule your consultation today.