If you suffer from sports injuries or a chronic orthopedic condition, an alternative form of regenerative medicine could be the solution for you rather than surgery.
Here is everything you need to know if you’re considering platelet-rich plasma therapy.
What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?
Let’s start with the basics: what is platelet-rich plasma therapy and how does it work?
First, it’s important to know that platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is produced using your own blood. Here’s how.
Platelets are found in the blood. They help with clotting, contain nutrients and growth factors, and help heal cuts and wounds by stimulating the healing process. Over time, researchers have found that platelets actually perform many different functions, like increasing blood flow and repairing and regenerating tissue.
During PRP therapy, your doctor will remove a small amount of your blood and extract its platelet-rich plasma component in a highly-concentrated dosage using what’s called a centrifuge. (This is a fancy word for a machine with a container that rotates rapidly, and separates fluids of different densities).This process takes less than fifteen minutes and produces a concentration of platelets up to 500% of what’s regularly found in the blood.
The plasma is then injected at specific problem areas in the body. This super-concentrated dose of platelets works to accelerate healing and stimulates collagen production in the tissue of the affected areas.
Benefits Of PRP Therapy
Platelet-rich plasma therapy can help eliminate the need for surgery or prolonged rehab in some cases. In fact, some patients notice an improvement in just a few days. PRP therapy has also been reported to significantly accelerate tissue healing.
Many PRP therapy patients see an improvement in symptoms, a return in function, and a decreased need for more aggressive treatments, like medication, surgery, or prolonged therapy.
Who Is A Good Candidate For PRP Therapy?
Platelet-rich plasma therapy works well on tendons, ligaments, and sports injuries all over the body. Some conditions commonly treated with PRP therapy are IT band syndrome, runner’s knee, rotator cuff tendinitis, and tennis elbow. PRP therapy can also be used for a variety of muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries and chronic injuries that typically require surgery, like ACL or MCL injuries, plantar fasciitis, muscle strains, bursitis, and torn or strained tendons. PRP therapy can also reduce inflammation caused by osteoarthritis
With any of the conditions listed above, it’s typically best to try resting and reducing activity in the affected area first. If this doesn’t work or you need a solution faster, platelet-rich plasma therapy could be right for you.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy is an outpatient procedure done in-office. There is very little to no downtime, and most patients usually return to work right after treatment. It’s common to feel an increase in pain immediately after PRP treatment, followed by feelings of improvement over the next few days.
One injection is enough for most patients. For some more severe conditions, a series of injections may be recommended. However, no rehab or aftercare is needed.
With PRP therapy, you can return to your normal life quickly. If you do need multiple treatments they will be spread out over a period of 6-12 weeks. There is no limit to how many treatments you can have, and the risks and side effects remain constant no matter the number of injections.
What Are The Risks Of Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy?
There have been few reports of complications or side effects with PRP therapy. In fact, research shows that it is safe and yields excellent results for most patients.
There is no risk of allergic reactions with PRP therapy because it’s using your own blood.
Whenever a needle is placed in the body, there’s a risk of infection, bleeding, or nerve damage. However, those risks are extremely rare. There may be other risks depending on the area being treated. Consult with your doctor beforehand for your specific condition, and they’ll be able to tell you if there are any further risks.
How Much Does PRP Therapy Cost?
PRP therapy is not covered by most private or public health insurance. Talk to your doctor to find out how much it will cost for your specific condition. (The cost can vary depending on the location of the injections and how much is used).
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy In Logan, Utah
Are you interested in PRP therapy in Logan, Utah or the Cache Valley area? At Spring Creek Medical Center, we treat a variety of conditions and are confident in our ability to reduce your pain and improve your quality of life.
Request an appointment today to see if PRP therapy is right for you!