PRP Joint Pain & Regenerative Injection Therapy
Fort Lauderdale Platelet Rich Plasma Joint Therapy Doctor, Bert Gershenbaum, M.D. offers Platelet Rich Plasma to relieve painful joints, or a sports injury. Platelet Rich Plasma therapy may be able to help you heal quicker and to avoid surgery. Platelet rich plasma injections (PRP) are regarded as a revolutionary modality of care in the regenerative medicines. Due to the hazardous, long term complications that surgical interventions may entail, less invasive procedures like PRP are getting extremely popular as a safer alternative than surgery in the optimal management of soft tissue injuries.
Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP is blood plasma with concentrated platelets. The concentrated platelets found in PRP contain huge reservoirs of bioactive proteins, including growth factors that are vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. These bioactive proteins initiate connective tissue healing: bone, tendon and ligament regeneration and repair, promote development of new blood vessels, and stimulate the wound healing process.
To prepare PRP, a small amount of blood is taken from the patient. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins and automatically produces the PRP. The entire process takes less than 15 minutes and increases the concentration of the platelets and growth factors up to 500%. When PRP in injected into the damaged area it stimulates the tendon or ligament, causing mild inflammation that triggers the healing cascade. As a result new collagen begins to develop. As this collagen matures it begins to shrink causing the tightening and strengthening of the tendons or ligaments of the damaged area.
Platelet rich plasma therapy is the re-administration of your own platelets to activate the body’s natural healing process to help in repair and regeneration. High concentrations of platelets also stimulate the release of growth factors that further aid in tissue regeneration.
PRP technique has been in use for over 2 decades, especially in the surgical field where orthopedic surgeons have used PRP to enhance the pace of healing. Various research studies have suggested that utilization of PRP can offer valuable benefits in soft tissue injuries as well as degenerative bone conditions such as spinal disc degeneration or arthritis.
PRP versus Cortisone Shots
Studies have shown that cortisone injections may actually weaken tissue. Cortisone shots may provide temporary pain relief and stop inflammation, but they do not provide long term healing. PRP therapy heals and strengthens these tendons and ligaments, strengthening and thickening the tissues up to 40% in some cases.
Patients see a significant improvement in symptoms. This may eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments such as long term medication or surgery as well as a remarkable return of function.
What can be treated?
PRP injections can be performed in tendons and ligaments all over the body. Sports injuries, arthritic joints, lower back, degenerative disc disease and more specific injuries including tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, ACL tears, shin splints, rotator cuff tears, plantar fasciitis and iliotibial band syndrome may all be effectively treated with PRP.
While responses to treatment vary, most people will require 3 – 6 sets of injections. Each set of treatments is spaced approximately 4 to 6 weeks a part. There is no limit to the number of treatments you can have, the risks and side effects do not change with the number of injections.
Today, the data and statistical evidence on the effectiveness of PRP therapy is still in the early stages, yet a lot of professional athletes and sports personnel consider it superior to surgical alternatives.
Based on early clinical medical research done so far, the following injuries and soft tissue conditions respond well to PRP therapy:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL) tears
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Injuries to ligaments and muscles
- Chronic lower back pain
- Spinal stenosis
- Tennis elbow
- Acute and chronic tendon problems
- Joint fractures
- Plantar fasciitis
- Neck pain
- Rotator cuff tears
- Morton’s neuroma
Most people believe that Platelet Rich Plasma therapy is still in the experimental stages especially for the management of soft tissue injuries.
Here are a few reasons why many professional athletes prefer PRP over surgical interventions or other invasive procedures:
- Platelet-rich plasma injections are extremely safe and do not affect the endurance, stamina or athletic vigor of patients;
- The risks of any side-effects or long-term complications are very rare. For example, most patients report only mild side effects like localized pain lasting only a few days, some swelling and injection site stiffness. On the contrary, most surgical interventions are associated with residual disability, chronic stiffness, extensive scarring and tissue fibrosis that may complicate the rehabilitation process.
- PRP injections are performed with local anesthesia under ultrasound guidance which significantly improves the precision of procedure and quality of results.
- No long-term rest or rehabilitation is necessary, unlike surgeries that require long period of rehabilitation and post-surgical recovery.
- Depending upon the initial extent of an injury, the overall process of healing may take a few weeks, and rarely, up to a few months. While most patients do not require more than 1 -2 injections, you should know that complete regeneration of damaged collagen may require multiple sessions. In the early post-therapy period (2-3 weeks after the PRP injection), most patients report remarkable improvement in the severity of symptoms such as pain and discomfort.
To learn more about New York Platelet Rich Plasma Joint Therapy, contact Bert Gershenbaum, M.D. for additional information about PRP Joint Therapy for Knee, Shoulder, Wrist, Hand, Ankle, Elbow and more, schedule your consultation today!