PRP Treatment for Joint and Tendon Pain/Sports Injury

PRP Treatment for Joint and Tendon Pain/Sports Injury 2017-11-03T09:26:05+00:00

PRP is gaining popularity for the treatment of tendonitis and joint pain because it offers a non-surgical, non-medicinal alternative for healing and repairing tissue with little down time. Professional athletes have been choosing PRP treatment over surgery for years because the recovery time is significantly reduced.

Over the last 5 years, PRP has been recognized for its potential in treating both chronic and acute musculoskeletal injuries involving tendons, joints, and muscles. The procedure is gaining wide attention as it has been used by professional athletes to assist them in returning to competition as quickly as possible following an injury.

Platelet Rich Plasma is a blood plasma that contains a concentrated source of a person’s own platelets. The basic idea of PRP is to deliver high concentrations of growth factors to an area of injury, with the intent to generate an immune response that can stimulate soft tissue healing and regeneration.

The injection of PRP is an office procedure which takes approximately 1 hour. First a small amount of blood is drawn from the patient’s arm. The blood is processed in a specialized FDA-approved centrifuge which separates the red blood cells from the Platelet Rich Plasma. The resulting rich plasma has approximately five times the concentration of platelets, growth factors, and cytokines from what is normally found in the blood.

Using sterile technique and under ultrasound guidance, the PRP is injected into the injured area after a topical numbing spray has been applied to the skin. Ultrasound guided injections ensure that the PRP is injected into the correct location.

Immediately after the injection it is recommended that patients go home and rest for the remainder of the day and avoid anti-inflammatory medication for at least 2 weeks after the procedure. (Tylenol, however, is allowed.) Icing the area should be avoided as it can slow down the inflammatory process. About 1 in 10 people will experience a “flare reaction” after the procedure which can cause temporary pain.

It is recommended to completely rest the area treated for 2-3 days after the injection. Gradual return to normal light activities is allowed for the next 2-4 weeks. No vigorous activity/sports for the first 6-8 weeks after the injection.

PRP treatment offers a natural, non-medicinal, non-surgical option for the treatment of joint or tendon pain. This treatment is an in-office procedure and can be done in less than 1 hour. The recovery time is significantly less than surgery, and most people can return to their favorite activities in approximately 3 months.

The risks of the PRP procedure are minimal and include bruising at the injection or blood draw site, redness, mild pain, and (very rarely) infection. Since this procedure uses a person’s own blood there is no risk of reaction or rejection.

Any person with chronic or acute tendon or joint pain is potentially eligible for treatment. The most common orthopedic areas for treatment are knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, and ankles. Injection of PRP into degenerative tissue or partially torn tendons has been shown to be effective in most patients. It is not known how effective PRP will be in treating your specific condition.

People that have failed previous treatment or are unable to tolerate anti-inflammatory medications due to medical problems or allergies are good candidates for PRP. Long-term use of anti-inflammatory medications only masks symptoms and can lead to decreased kidney function and stomach problems.

Steroid injections are commonly used to treat inflammation and joint pain; however, they are not recommended for long-term use because of their negative effects on healing. Repeated steroid injections can weaken and destroy tissue.

Any person that has a condition causing a low platelet count (Thrombocytopenia) is not a good candidate for PRP treatment.

People that are on anti-coagulants for medical problems, such as a history of a blood clots or atrial fibrillation, and who are unable to stop their medication prior to the procedure should also avoid PRP treatment.

People unable to refrain from taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory products (such as ibuprophen (Advil/Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Celebrex, etc.) before the procedure or for 2 weeks after the procedure should also avoid PRP treatment.

This varies from patient to patient. Since PRP can repair and regenerate tissue some patients will require only one treatment. Research has shown that most people receive the most benefit after two or three injections spaced out one month apart. The need for repeat treatment will be discussed at the 4-week follow-up visit.

In some cases the addition of a placental tissue matrix (PTM) can increase the healing potential of the PRP treatment and may only require one treatment instead of a series of PRP treatments. This will be discussed on a case by case basis.

PTM is an all-natural treatment that utilizes powerful growth factors, collagens, extra cellular proteins and bioactive molecules naturally found in placental tissues. These placental tissue components may provide your body with the foundation in needs to reduce pain and inflammation, restore tissue (hair follicles), and reduce scarring. The product is derived from human placental tissues, donated by volunteer U.S.-based donors after a live, healthy C-section delivery.

There is little downtown when PTM is used and pain relief can occur as soon as 3-10 days after treatment, with continued improvement over the following weeks and months. PTM Therapy is typically a single one-time treatment, not a series.

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