NBA star Stephen Curry, professional golfer Tiger Woods, and tennis player Maria Sharapova have more in common than just being at the top of their respective sports. They've all used platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy to heal injuries and return to doing what they love.
Although PRP therapy makes the news when it's used by famous athletes, this treatment can be beneficial for a wide range of orthopedic concerns. At Northwest Extremity Specialists, we are proud to offer this non-surgical and safe procedure that uses the body's natural healing properties to aid tissue repair.
About Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment
PRP therapy is an innovative, non-surgical treatment that utilizes the healing properties of your body's own blood to promote tissue repair and regeneration. The process involves drawing a small amount of your blood, which is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from other components. The concentrated plasma, rich in growth factors and cytokines, is then injected into the targeted area of injury or tissue damage to stimulate healing.
Platelets are crucial components of your blood responsible for clotting and wound healing. When injected into a specific area, the concentrated platelets in PRP release growth factors that initiate and accelerate the body's natural healing response. These growth factors promote cell proliferation, tissue regeneration, and the formation of new blood vessels, aiding in the repair of damaged tissues and reducing inflammation.
PRP therapy is considered a type of regenerative medicine because it focuses on giving your body the “kick start” it needs to heal. Other types of regenerative medicine offered at Northwest Extremity Specialists include amniotic tissue injections and extracorporeal pulse activation treatment (EPAT).
Conditions Can PRP Help Treat
When conventional methods like rest, stretching, and physical therapy fail to effectively treat strains, sprains, and chronic pain, your orthopedic specialist may suggest PRP injections as an alternative to promote healing. At Northwest Extremity Specialists, we have successfully utilized PRP treatment to aid patients with the following conditions:
- Soft tissue injuries. PRP injections have proven effective in treating muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries, including conditions like tennis elbow, Achilles tendonitis, hamstring pulls, and torn ligaments. These injuries often take months to heal naturally, but PRP therapy can expedite recovery, helping you get back on your feet faster.
- Postsurgical care. After undergoing joint replacement, tendon reattachment, or muscle repair surgeries, your orthopedic surgeon may use PRP injections to accelerate healing and improve overall outcomes.
- Osteoarthritis. PRP can be a viable option for individuals with osteoarthritis, where it can be injected into the affected joint's cartilage to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. In certain cases, PRP has shown to be more effective than cortisone shots in managing arthritic symptoms.
How to Determine if You're a Good Candidate for PRP Therapy
While PRP therapy has shown promise in treating various orthopedic conditions, it may not be suitable for everyone. The ideal candidate for PRP treatment at Northwest Extremity Specialists typically exhibits the following traits:
- Mild to moderate orthopedic injury. PRP therapy is often more effective in treating mild to moderate musculoskeletal injuries, such as ligament sprains, tendonitis, and osteoarthritis.
- Lack of response to conservative treatments. Patients who have not experienced significant improvement with conventional treatments like rest, physical therapy, or medication might find PRP therapy a viable alternative.
- Prefer non-surgical treatment options. PRP therapy can be an attractive option for those who wish to explore non-surgical alternatives before considering more invasive procedures.
- Eager to return to an active lifestyle. Athletes or individuals with physically demanding lifestyles who wish to expedite their recovery and return to activity may benefit from PRP treatment.
At Northwest Extremity Specialists, we believe in providing patient-centered care and offering the most appropriate treatment options for your orthopedic needs. PRP therapy can promote healing and reduce pain for many patients. However, it is crucial to remember that each individual is unique, and what works for one person may not be the best option for another.
If you are interested in PRP treatment, our team of experienced specialists is here to help. We will evaluate your condition, discuss your treatment options, and work with you to create a treatment plan tailored to your needs and goals.