Platelet Rich Plasma
Platelet-rich plasma is derived by placing a small amount of the patient’s blood in a filtrationsystem or centrifuge that rotates at high speed, separating red blood cells from the platelets that release proteins and other particles involved in the body’s self-healing process, doctors said. A teaspoon or two of the remaining substance is then injected into the damaged area. The high concentration of platelets — from 3 to 10 times that of normal blood — often catalyzes the growth of new soft-tissue or bone cells. Because the substance is injected where blood would rarely go otherwise, it can deliver the healing instincts of platelets without triggering the clotting response for which platelets are typically known.
There is little chance for rejection or allergic reaction because the substance is autologous, meaning it comes from the patient’s own body; the injection carries far less chance for infection than an incision and leaves no scar, and it takes only about 20 minutes, with a considerably shorter recovery time than after surgery.
Because of those apparent benefits, the consensus among doctors is that the procedure is worth pursuing. However, several doctors emphasized that platelet-rich plasma therapy as it stands now appeared ineffective in about 20 to 40 percent of cases, depending on the injury. But they added that because the procedure costs a fraction of the costs incurred for surgery — they expected that with more refinement, insurance companies would eventually not only authorize the use of PRP therapy but even require it as a first course of treatment.
PRP therapy takes approximately one to two hours, including preparation and recovery time. Performed safely in a medical office, PRP therapy relieves pain without the risks of surgery, general anesthesia, or hospital stays and without a prolonged recovery. In fact, most people return to their job or usual activity just after the procedure.
Because the object of PRP therapy is to resolve pain through healing, it could prove to have lasting results. Initial improvement may be seen within a few weeks, gradually increasing as the healing progresses. Research studies and clinical practice have shown PRP therapy to be very effective at relieving pain and returning patients to their normal lives. Both ultrasound and MRI images have shown definitive tissue repair after PRP therapy, confirming the healing process. The need for surgery can also be greatly reduced by treating injured tissues before the damage progresses and the condition becomes irreversible.
PRP injections can be performed in tendons and ligaments all over the body. Sports injuries, arthritic joints, lower back, degenerative disc disease and more specific injuries including tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, ACL tears, shin splints, rotator cuff tears, plantar fasciitis and iliotibial band syndrome may all be effectively treated with PRP.
For more information on PRP or Proltherapy you can call us at (941) 330-8553 or e-mail me at AskDoctorJL@Gmail.com.
Yours in Health,
Dr. John Lieurance, Dr. Wellington Chen