One of the promising treatment options in the orthopedic community, platelet-rich plasma (PRP)is becoming increasingly popular worldwide.
The potential benefits of the treatment to biologically stimulate musculoskeletal tissues in the healing and pain-relief process have been widely discussed, and research has shown positive results.
How does PRP treatment work?
Plasma—a clear fluid in the blood—helps our body make new cells. The fluid contains red and white blood cells, platelets and other cellular elements.
Created by an individual’s own blood, PRP is concentrated plasma comprising of substance and molecules responsible for clotting blood and speeding up the healing process.
The preparation process depends on a number of factors which include leukocyte concentration, growth factor content, platelet concentration and differences in separation and activation methods.
Application of PRP Treatment
Even though the treatment has been widely used in sports medicine, in recent years, PRP’s applications have grown to a number of other medical fields including but not limited to gynecology, dermatology, urology, cardiac surgery, plastic surgery and ophthalmology.
PRP in Foot and Ankle Treatment
The Achilles tendon, one of the thickest tendons, is a band of tissues located in the back of the legs. Any trauma caused to Achilles tendon is harder to treat because of tissues’slow regenerative capabilities.
Even though research shows that PRP injections don’t work for chronic tendinopathy, in acute injury and pain, the treatment works well as an alternative to surgery—that can result in ruptures and post-op complications.
One of the leading causes of heel pain, plantar fasciitis affects more than 2 million Americans every year. The treatment options include exercise, orthonics and physical shock therapy among a few others and may vary depending on the level of damage. However, there are certain risks involved in the treatment of plantar fasciitis with these methods. With a PRP injection, while the risk is minimal, the treatment is equally effective.
Studies show significant functional and clinical improvement in patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis. Patients reported reduced pain and improved function after receiving four PRP injections on a weekly basis.
As an alternative to surgeries, PRP treatment works tremendously in reducing the risks of infection during wound healing.