What is platelet-rich plasma therapy?
Your blood contains four main ingredients:
- Red blood cells
- White blood cells
Platelets are largely responsible for clotting of your blood, but they also contain healing resources in the form of proteins called growth factors which your platelets release in areas that the body senses are damaged or injured.
In recognizing the role that your platelets play in your body, physicians and researchers have discovered ways to harness the healing and recovery function of these proteins, directing them to specific areas by way of injection.
In PRP therapy, one use of ORTHOBiologics, your doctor draws your own blood and places it into a centrifuge to separate out the platelets. Once isolated, he mixes the platelet concentrate — which is vastly greater than normal — with other components of the plasma and injects the solution directly into the damaged tissue. The platelets release the growth factors and proteins that help with cell repair and renewal. The exact mixture performed varies and depends on the tissue damaged and desired effect.
Additionally, introducing these platelets into your damaged tissue encourages your body to respond in kind and send in more healing resources.
What conditions can PRP injections treat?
PRP therapy is available to help treat:
- Ligament injuries
- Tendon disorders including tears and tendinitis
- Some fractures
- Muscle strains and tears
PRP treatment for rotator cuff tears
Dr. Hovis and the providers at ORTHOKnox use PRP injections to help heal rotator cuff injuries with and without surgery. Some full thickness rotator cuff tears are more difficult to heal than others. Large or massive tears, particularly when other factors are present such as diabetes, or a smoking history, can be problematic in terms of healing. Dr. Hovis has a protocol for using PRP injections after surgery to help heal these more difficult to heal tears.
Additionally, Dr. Hovis and the providers at ORTHOKnox are treating some select partial thickness rotator cuff tears with PRP injections with the expectation of healing and avoiding surgery. They have had notable success and are currently collecting data on the outcomes.
Ultimately, the ORTHOKnox providers have found that PRP provides a healing effect that reduces pain and swelling and speeds recovery for many slow-to-heal conditions, such as chronic tendinitis, acute ligament and muscle injuries, and arthritis.
Are PRP injections safe?
The components in the PRP injections are the patient's own tissue and therefore recognized by your own immune system as belonging to your body. For this reason, there is no allergic reaction or rejection.
While there is some risk with any injection or treatment, the risks from PRP injection are very low.
If you think you may benefit from PRP injections for your orthopedic problem, call ORTHOKnox or request an appointment using the online scheduling tool.