PLATELET RICH PLASMA THERAPY (PRP) IN MUSCULOSKELETAL CONDITIONS
Newport Skin Clinic offers the latest in Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy and new regenerative tissue repair for musculoskeletal Injuries and osteoarthritis
Rotator cuff tears
For most patients, PRP offers a reliable, safe, alternative treatment for those who do not wish to have surgery. An initial evaluation will determine if PRP is a viable treatment option. A study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine in November 2006 showed that of 90% of patients with tennis elbow were “completely satisfied” with the results of their PRP treatments and avoided surgery.
WHAT IS PLATELET RICH PLASMA THERAPY?
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) is a promising solution to accelerate healing of tendon injuries and osteoarthritis naturally without subjecting patients to significant risk. The philosophy is to merge cutting edge technology with the body’s natural ability to heal.
PRP technology was initially developed 20 years ago to aide with wound healing and blood loss. Its benefits are now being applied towards the facilitation of healing tendons and cartilage. In fact, PRP has been widely used for years in Europe to treat various tendon injuries.
HOW DOES A PRP PROCEDURE WORK?
Using the patient’s own blood, specially prepared platelets are taken and then re-injected into the affected area. These platelets release substances known as “growth factors” that lead to tissue healing. For example, when you cut yourself, the body’s natural response is to attract platelets that release growth factors and facilitate the healing. By concentrating the platelets we increase the release of growth factors which promotes the healing of tendons and cartilage.
The human body has a remarkable ability to heal itself and by re-injecting concentrated platelets we are facilitating the natural healing process.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PRP TREATMENT?
Patients can expect to see significant improvement in symptoms; elimination of the need for more traditional treatments such as medications, cortisone injections of surgery; and a dramatic return of function.
HOW SOON CAN I GO BACK TO REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY?
This treatment is not a ‘quick fix’ and is designed to promote long-term healing. The process of PRP requires time and rehabilitation. Patients who follow a course of physical therapy are likely to see the most improvement in the affected area. PRP accelerates and shortens the recovery process in chronic injuries and new acute injuries.
Prior studies on tennis elbow have demonstrated an 81% improvement in pain scores at six months and 93% reduction in pain at follow up at 1-3 years.
Through regular follow-up visits your doctor can determine when you are able to resume regular physical activities.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN INJECTION
Patients should schedule in evaluation to determine if PRP is a viable treatment option. An MRI and/or musculoskeletal ultrasound may be done prior to the injection to insure a proper diagnosis and to rule out any condition best treated surgically.
The PRP injection usually takes an hour and is performed on an outpatient basis. Do not take anti-inflammatories one week before or after the injection as this may limit the treatment benefits.
Depending on a patient’s condition, a series of three injections may be required.
HOW DO I CARE FOR THE INJECTION SITE AFTER TREATMENT?
Initially the procedure may cause some localised soreness and discomfort. It is recommended that patients arrange for someone to drive them home after the procedure. Patients may apply ice and elevation as needed. After one week the patient will likely begin a rehabilitation program with physical therapy.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNIFICANT SIDE EFFECTS?
Although uncommon, the risks include those signs/symptoms associated with an injection including: pain, infection, no relief of symptoms, worsening of symptoms, blood clot, nerve injury, skin discolouration, calcification, scarring, loss of fat to the affected area and allergic reaction.