Those who work as first responders to the scene of an accident are actually second responders. The true first responder is the human body itself with its natural ability to begin the healing process immediately after an injury. Among the three types of cells — red cells, white cells and platelet cells — it is the platelets that react first to injury. With soft tissue injury the body delivers platelet cells to the injured area to initiate the repair process. These platelets attract stem cells which are critical for the regeneration of injured tissue and this is exactly where platelet rich plasma therapy (PRP) plays a significant role in the healing process. This revolutionary treatment expedites this healing process by delivering a high concentration of platelet rich plasma to the wounded area. This procedure relieves pain and promotes healing of musculoskeletal conditions.
Specifically, this rapidly emerging technique shows exciting potential for meniscus tear treatment, knee pain treatment and general chronic pain management for shoulders, hips, rotator cuff tears, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries as well as back and neck injuries, just to name a few. In the world of professional sports, PRP therapy has earned an acclaimed reputation for sports injuries including ligament sprains, tendon tears and chronic inflammation. This new non-surgical treatment relieves pain, promotes permanent healing and averts the need for surgery. PRP treatment is revolutionizing the way we treat acute and chronic pain.
So how does it work? Similar to blood drawn in a lab for testing, PRP is a simple procedure. A small sample of your blood is drawn, then put into a centrifuge. This apparatus spins the blood at high speeds which isolates the platelets from other components in the blood. This produces a concentration of platelet rich plasma that is then injected into and around the point of injury. The process jump starts and strengthens the healing signal to the body and, because your own blood is used, the risk of a transmissible infection is eliminated. Leading orthopedic specialists have introduced PRP therapy to treat damaged cartilage, tendon, ligament or even bone. The amazing aspect of this procedure is that it is exactly how the body normally heals and repairs itself. In some cases, however, the tissues (cartilage, tendon, ligament) often lack the necessary blood supply that draws these platelets into the injured area, thus PRP therapy has been proven to initiate a totally natural process. The procedure takes one to two hours, including prep and recovery time.
The Effectiveness of PRP
As for the effectiveness of PRP, studies and clinical practice use ultrasound and MRI images to show definitive tissue repair. Besides the relief of pain, another highly appealing feature of this technique is that surgery can be avoided if the injured tissues are treated before there is irreparable damage and the condition becomes irreversible. Patients treated with PRP see not only the absence of chronic pain, but also a significant improvement in the ability to function. An exceptionally safe procedure, it is performed in a sterile, office-based environment, does not require general anesthesia or hospitalization and is covered by most insurances. PRP therapy can provide lasting results and initial improvement may be seen within a few weeks.
Today, pain specialists are finding more and more applications where PRP achieves outstanding results. Standing on the cutting edge of non-surgical orthopedic medicine and performed safely in a medical office, PRP therapy relieves pain without the risks of surgery and, in fact, most people return to their usual activities right after the procedure. The staff at our pain management clinic has the specialized training required for this treatment and our physician has 20+ years of experience in the region. Contact us today to determine if this advanced, non-surgical treatment is right for you.
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