Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy
PRP is Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy performed by Ethos Orthopedic Surgeons in Riverside, CA. Although an emerging technology and technique in sports medicine, it has been used since the mid-1990’s in dental and oral surgery and to aid in soft tissue recovery following plastic surgery. The doctors at Ethos Orthopedic specialize in using PRP for arthritis and tendinitis rehabilitation.
Who has used PRP therapy?
Many famous athletes — including golfer Tiger Woods, tennis star Rafael Nadal, and several others — have received PRP for various problems, such as sprained knees and chronic tendon injuries. These types of conditions have typically been treated with medications, physical therapy, or even surgery. Some athletes have credited PRP with their being able to return more quickly to competition.
What is PRP therapy?
PRP therapy, which takes approximately twenty minutes to complete, begins with collection of 30 milliliters of the patient’s blood. The blood sample is placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the other components of whole blood. Doctors then inject the concentrated platelets into the site of the injury often using ultrasound guidance for accuracy. Platelets function as a natural reservoir for growth factors that are essential to repair injured tissues. The growth factors that the platelets secrete stimulate tissue recovery by increasing collagen production, enhancing tendon stem cell proliferation, and tenocyte-related gene and protein expression. These growth factors also stimulate blood flow and cause cartilage to become more firm and resilient. PRP activates tenocytes to proliferate quickly and produce collagen to repair injured tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and muscles.
Will I feel immediate results from PRP therapy?
You will feel a notable increase in pain in the days immediately following the injection. Pain intensity becomes less each day as functional mobility and general functional ability increase along with endurance and strength. You will notice gradual improvement 2-6 weeks after PRP therapy. Some patients report ongoing improvement 6-9 months after PRP therapy is administered. In some studies, Ultrasound and MRI images have shown definitive tissue repair has occurred after PRP therapy, supporting the proof of the healing process. By treating injured tissues before the damage progresses, surgical intervention may be avoided.
Which injuries are usually treated with PRP therapy?
Injuries treated with PRP therapy include: rotator cuff, quadriceps, hamstring, knee arthritis, tendon injuries and tennis elbow. Essentially any tendon or ligament injury except complete tears may be treated successfully with PRP. PRP therapy is exactly the treatment needed to reduce the downtime of the athlete while also reducing the chance for re-injury or perhaps the risk of a more serious injury that will result in surgical intervention or permanent disability.
More and more literature is showing the effectiveness of low-leukocyte PRP in treating low- to moderate-grade knee osteoarthritis. Some studies have shown that these results can last up to two years.
Chronic Tendon Injuries
According to the research studies currently reported, PRP is effective in the treatment of chronic tendon injuries, especially tennis elbow, a very common injury of the tendons on the outside of the elbow.
The use of PRP for other chronic tendon injuries — such as chronic Achilles tendinitis or inflammation of the patellar tendon at the knee (jumper's knee) is promising.
What is Ethos Orthpedic position on PRP Therapy?
Ethos Orthpedic believes that implementing PRP therapy as a viable procedure may: decrease the progression of more serious injuries, decrease the overall time for healing, and ultimately decrease the overall need for surgical intervention. This promising adjunctive form of therapy holds the potential of healing previously problematic chronic injuries, provide a treatment option for debilitating injuries previously deemed untreatable, and serve as an alternative to surgical intervention.