Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy In Gilbert, AZ

Dr. Brice Neff DC Gilbert AZ

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

Over the years, the scientific world has tremendously increased research efforts on regenerative medicine. These are alternative non-invasive therapies that have been proven to be effective against many tendon and joint diseases. An example of such therapy is treatment using platelet-rich plasma.

Celebrity athletes worldwide have enjoyed and testified to the effectiveness of this therapy for various sports injuries. It has enabled many of them to return to action faster than usual without debilitating side effects. This article contains some salient information and answers to various questions about this therapy.

What Is Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP)?

It’s a therapeutic preparation that is made with plasma. Human blood contains solid and liquid components. This plasma contains proteins like albumin, globulin, and fibrinogen. The major duty of platelets is to help in clot formation following hemorrhage. Besides, these platelets contain proteins known as growth factors that aid healing. In essence, platelet-rich plasma contains more platelets than is normally found in human blood.

Sometimes, the increase in platelets in this special preparation is up to tenfold the normal value. This is because more growth factors found in platelets are needed for healing. Preparing this therapeutic solution starts with taking blood samples from a donor. The blood is centrifuged for minutes to separate the solid components from the liquid components. This process makes it easy to extract the platelet and the plasma. After the extraction, further, centrifugation makes the plasma rich in platelets.

How Does PRP Work?

The mechanism by which platelet-rich plasma works is still largely unclear. However, it has been shown that growth factors present in the preparation can fasten the healing process in various injuries. Tendinopathies, a broad term for pathologies affecting a tendon, benefit significantly from platelet-rich plasma. The therapeutic solution can be injected directly into the affected site.

However, a local anesthetic agent is injected into the injured site’s area before the procedure. The anesthetic agent will numb the area and make the process less painful. It is common for people that receive platelet-rich plasma to feel increased pain at the injury site despite adequate intervention. This unpleasant feeling might last for two or three days, but many people will feel relief and beneficial effects after that.

Another way by which platelet-rich plasma is used is as an adjunct to surgery. The corrective procedure is a surgical repair for athletes or sports enthusiasts with torn Achilles tendons. However, surgeons can instill platelet-rich plasma into the torn tissue during the operation. Doing this will speed up the healing process and make a recovery better.

What Conditions are Treated with PRP?

The subject of platelet-rich plasma is still mainly under research. However, recent studies have shown that ailing joints benefit immensely from this therapy. Additionally, inflammatory processes affecting tendons, joints, and bones have improved outcomes with platelet-rich plasma injection. Older adults that suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee and ankle are also good candidates for this therapeutic intervention.

Whether these diseases are acute or chronic, serial injection of this solution in the joints effectively reduces pain and resolves the infective process. In most literature, combining this treatment modality with other interventions like surgery gives a more impressive result.

Chronic Tendon Injuries

People who suffer from tennis elbow have significantly benefited from this therapy. Healing from chronic tendon injuries takes several months without an injection like this.

Acute Ligament and Muscle Injuries

This treatment modality has enjoyed a wide range of success mainly due to its efficacy in treating muscle and ligament injuries. Excessive stretching during sporting activities can cause a tear or disease of a ligament. Healing after injuries like this can be time-consuming but can be sped up by injecting platelet-rich plasma at the site.

Surgery

In recent times, platelet-rich plasma therapy has been combined with surgery as a comprehensive way of dealing with specific musculoskeletal pathologies. There are reports that this combination is beneficial in repairing a torn meniscus and rotator cuff. Athletes who suffer from a torn Achilles tendon benefit from this combination therapy. The injection can be done before and during surgery. The surgeon will instill the solution into the torn tissues during surgery to promote healing. It can also be used alone in patients that do not qualify for surgery or those with poor responses to medical therapy.

Knee Arthritis

There tends to experience gradual laxity and weakness in the joints with increasing age due to various conditions. An example is an osteoarthritis which limits joint movements and causes pain at diseased sites. A variant of platelet-rich plasma which contains few white blood cells is helpful in this condition. Using this therapy for knee osteoarthritis can alleviate the pain and debilitating symptoms of the disease for two years.

Fractures

A fracture is a kind of discontinuity in the outline of a bone. It causes severe pain and other signs of inflammation like redness, warmth, and swelling in most cases. It also takes several weeks to heal under proper conditions. Most cases of fracture require surgical intervention through closed reduction. Injecting some platelet-rich plasma has also been used in a limited capacity to speed up fracture healing.

Conclusion

In the past, scientists have proposed many ways by which we could heal ourselves with our blood. Many propositions have been made, but most have failed clinical trials. Platelet-rich plasma is a promising therapeutic solution for the diseased or injured musculoskeletal system in recent times. Even though its efficacy is under question in most quarters, there tends to be universal agreement on its minimal side effects. Some people have reported increased pain at the injection site, but other than this, the responses to this therapeutic solution have been impressive.

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Content Reviewed By

Dr. Brice Neff DC Gilbert AZ
Doctor of Chiropractic
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