PRP Regenerative Injection Therapy
With Growth Factors in Platelet Rich Plasma
An alternative approach to healing tendon and ligament injuries
ABC NEWS: Healing Injuries, Arthritis With Blood
PRP Featured on Good Morning America
What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP is blood plasma with concentrated platelets. The concentrated platelets found in PRP contain huge reservoirs of bioactive proteins, including growth factors that are vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. These bioactive proteins initiate connective tissue healing cascade which includes bone, tendon and ligament regeneration and repair, by promoting development of new blood vessels, and stimulating the wound healing process.
How does PRP work?
To prepare PRP, a small amount of blood is taken from the patient. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins and automatically produces the PRP. The entire process takes less than 15 minutes and increases the concentration of platelets and growth factors up to 500%.
When PRP is injected into the damaged area it stimulates repair of the tendon or ligament by causing mild inflammation that triggers the healing cascade. As a result, new collagen begins to form. As the collagen matures, the tendons and ligaments become tighter and stronger at the damaged site. As this collagen matures it begins to shrink causing tightening and strengthening of the tendons or ligaments of the damaged area.
What are tendon & ligaments?
Tendons, composed of collagen fibers, connect muscle to bone making it possible for you to perform everyday physical activities. Overuse or damage to tendons over a long period of time causes the collagen fibers in tendons to form small tears, a condition known as tendinosis. Damage most often occurs in the knee, ankle, shoulder, elbow, wrist, biceps, calf, hamstrings and Achilles tendon.
Ligaments are also composed of collagen fibers, connecting bone to bone i.e. joints: ankles, knees, shoulders, spine, etc., stabilizing the joint and controlling the range of motion. A damaged ligament is no longer able to provide support, weakening the joints and shifting the burden of support to the muscles (and then to the tendons) which should primarily act as movement engines. Tendons and Ligaments have poor blood supply particularly where they connect to the bone . Once injured (sprains or strains) they do not heal easily and the damage progresses with the stress of day-to-day activities. As a result the tendons and ligaments become inefficient, the muscles are over taxed causing chronic pain and weakness and further damage. Medical intervention may be necessary.
What are the potential benefits?
Patients can see a significant improvement in their symptoms as well as a remarkable return of function. This may eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments such as long term medications or surgery.
Is this the same as Cortisone shots?
Studies have shown that cortisone injections may actually weaken tissue. Cortisone shots may provide temporary relief and stop inflammation, but they do not provide long term healing. PRP therapy heals and strengthens these tendons and ligaments, strengthening and thickening the tissue up to 40% in some cases.
What can be treated?
PRP Injections can be performed in tendons and ligaments all over the body. Some examples are:
o Sports injuries
o Arthritic joints
o Lower back, degenerative disc disease
o Tennis elbow
o Carpal tunnel syndrome
o ACL tears
o Shin splints
o Rotator cuff tears
o Plantar fasciitis
o Iliotibal band syndrome
How many treatments are necessary and how often is this therapy administrated?
While responses to treatment vary, most people will require 1-3, some as many is 6 or more sets of injections. Each set of treatments is spaced approximately 4 to 6 weeks apart. There is no limit to the number of treatments you can have, the risks and side effects do not change with the number of injections.
Is PRP right for me?
If you have a tendon or ligament injury and traditional methods have not provided relief, then PRP therapy may be the solution. The procedure is less aggressive and less expensive than surgery. It will heal tissue with minimal or no scarring and alleviates further degeneration of the tissues. An initial evaluation with Dr. Zaharoff will be preformed to see if PRP therapy is right for you.
Our staff is ready to assist you in scheduling an office visit or consultation, call (210) 616.0646. If you have questions for Dr. Z, please forward via our contact form.