Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections give the body the opportunity to heal naturally. Recently, when researching the body’s reaction to its own blood, the ability to incite the body to heal itself was discovered. This method of natural healing is used by many professional athletes to help repair sprained knees, chronic tendon injuries, shoulder injuries, and elbow issues. Most of these injuries are typically improved with medication, physical therapy, or even surgery in some severe cases. However, PRP has been credited for getting athletes back in action quickly. Essentially, we are tapping into the individual’s healing system to promote self-healing. Platelet-Rich Plasma is not an anti-inflammatory or a narcotic. It is your blood, and we are using your own system to heal itself.
The process for Platelet-Rich Plasma is fairly simple. The patient attends their appointment, we identify the problem in the body, we draw blood, spin it down, and concentrate the platelets so they are concentrated much greater than they would normally be in the system. Next, we introduce their own platelets into the injured area. The doctor utilizes an ultrasound to scan the affected area to identify the injury and any irregularities. The purpose is to observe the tendons to identify any tears or rips and bone structure to identify structural issues such as calcium buildups and spurs. Then, the doctor will inject the new, concentrated platelets directly to the affected area. By injecting these platelets to the injured area, it is releasing the body’s own growth factors. Those growth factors are what the body uses to heal tissue. Essentially, it works to reboot the healing computer in the body. It then becomes a beautiful alternative for various ailments that we think to be appropriate, and nobody rejects their own blood.
At Central Coast Regenerative Medicine in San Luis Obispo, we have used this therapy on patients who have chronic tendonitis, or an abnormality in the tendons like tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, an injured rotator cuff, and even tears. We can definitely help patients improved body function and have less pain. In fact, a good percentage of our patients can actually see a tendon that has healed from a tear. Patients with arthritis also seem to find significant results, as this condition has a significant response to this therapy, particularly if it therapy begins early. We have not been able to demonstrate new cartilage yet with this therapy, but we’ve been able to demonstrate no progression of the arthritis at a year, and, systematically, patients seem to be doing much better. You will certainly need some relative rest for the first two weeks.
Platelet activation plays a key role in the process of wound and soft tissue healing. The use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a portion of the patient’s own blood having a platelet concentration above baseline, to promote healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints, can be applied to various musculoskeletal problems.
To learn more about Platelet-Rich Plasma and if you are a good candidate for this therapy, call Central Coast Regenerative Medicine in San Luis Obispo, CA at (805) 250-4450 to schedule an appointment.