The use of PRP therapy, platelet-rich plasma therapy, has been rapidly gaining momentum in the field of orthopedics. PRP is one of the cutting-edge, biologic (orthobiologic) treatments available to repair the damaged soft tissues (such as tendons, ligaments, muscles) and joints. The two other biologics used by Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle are stem cells and bone marrow aspiration. At Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle, experts like Dr. Garcia provide the finest treatments, merging biologics with either non-surgical or surgical solutions.
What is PRP and how does it work?
PRP, as the name implies, is a liquid component of the blood named plasma that contains blood cells called platelets at a much higher concentration than the usual human plasma. It is derived from the patient’s own blood and re-injected into the damaged or diseased tissue to stimulate its repair. While platelets play a vital role in stopping the bleeding by forming a blood clot, they are also a reservoir of proteins called growth factors that kick-start the growth of new, healthy cells and promote the natural healing process.
What injuries/orthopedic disorders benefit from PRP?
Given PRP’ fast-healing potential, orthopedic specialists mostly use it for the following injuries and conditions:
- Rotator cuff tears at the shoulder joint
- Hamstring or quad strain
- Patellar tendon injuries such as inflammation and (or) rupture
- Achilles tendon disorders (PRP injections show promise as a treatment for highly resistant cases of Achilles tendon problems)
- Inflammation of the outside prominence of the elbow called lateral epicondylitis
- Inflammation of the inner prominence of the elbow called medial epicondylitis
- De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
- Age-related inflammation and degeneration of the joints (PRP may also help the stem cells to proliferate and repair cartilage such as in knee osteoarthritis)
How is PRP therapy done?
At Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle, our experts carry out PRP therapy in an in-office procedure and in some cases during surgery to help speed healing and cut down the recovery time.
Just like with a routine blood test, a small amount of blood is drawn from the vein in your arm. After separating concentrated platelets from the blood in a spinning machine and discarding other blood cells, the platelet-rich plasma is collected. This is then injected back into the injured tendon, ligament, muscle, or joint that is not healing at a normal pace. Your doctor may use ultrasound guidance to pinpoint the site of injury and direct the needle to the exact site.
What is the outcome of PRP?
The outcome of using PRP is reduced inflammation and pain, and thus accelerated healing and recovery of the affected tissues. Pro athletes from all kinds of sports are also reaping PRP’s benefits in the form of improved recovery.
PRP therapy is an outpatient, safe, short, and effective procedure. If you are seeking PRP therapy and want to learn more about the procedure and see if it is the right option for you, contact Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle to schedule an appointment with one of our experts.