Within the field of regenerative medicine is a therapy known as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. This highly innovative and effective therapy is safe and minimally invasive. It is currently being used around the country to treat a variety of soft tissue injuries, as well as osteoarthritis and a selection of additional musculoskeletal injuries and diseases.
The beauty of PRP therapy is that it utilizes the body’s own healing abilities to directly address and repair damaged tissue. This is not a therapy designed to mask pain or prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. Rather, it is intended to help the body naturally heal itself – as it is designed to do.
Whenever you suffer a soft tissue injury, your body naturally responds by flooding the injury site with platelets. Platelets are blood components that contain a number of growth factors utilized for tissue repair. The growth factors immediately provide some of the raw materials the body needs to affect healing. In addition, they also signal the body to send stem cells and nutrients to the injury site for long-term repair.
PRP therapy ‘jump-starts’ this natural response by flooding the injury site with platelets. The higher the platelet concentration, the more effective the result generally is. Over time, the injury is healed naturally. Patients experience both pain relief and restored function.
PRP therapy is an injection-based therapy. It utilizes a combination of needles – for blood extraction and PRP injection – in concert with a fluoroscope or ultrasound machine. We use fluoroscopy and ultrasound to identify the right injection sites. Selecting the wrong sites can result in more painful injections and less than desirable results.
The procedure begins with a simple blood draw. We then process the blood using APEX Biologix equipment and methodologies, which allow us to achieve some of the highest platelet concentrations in regenerative medicine.
Once the blood is fully processed and platelets concentrated, we then identify the most appropriate sites and complete the injections. The doctor may choose a single site or multiple sites, depending on the scope of injury. Patients generally leave the office immediately following the injections.
First and foremost, PRP therapy is safe despite all of the misinformation found online. We utilize your blood, completely eliminating the risk of rejection and minimizing any other risks. Second, while some patients report immediate pain relief following the first injection, most do not. Pain is relieved as the healing process progresses. Over time, you will experience less pain.
The number of injections necessary to provide complete relief depends on the scope and location of your injury. Your doctor can advise you as to how many injections will likely be necessary. If multiple injections are called for, they are spaced out over several weeks.
The more we learn about PRP therapy, the more we discover just how effective it is in promoting healing of soft tissue injuries and diseases. You may be a candidate for it if you suffer from osteoarthritis, facet syndrome, or musculoskeletal injuries like torn ligaments, torn muscles, ACL injuries, and so forth.
Our doctors have many years of experience treating chronic pain and soft tissue injuries. They have undergone the necessary training to utilize regenerative medicine safely and effectively. We invite you to learn more about PRP therapy as an alternative to surgery or long-term pain medication.