Is PRP Right for Me?

The practice of orthopedics is undergoing a sea change. Regenerative medicine holds great promise for increased use and will likely become a standard of care for at least some orthopedic injuries. 

You may have read articles about Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriguez using platelet-rich plasma therapy for ACL and hip injuries to help them return to play more quickly than using traditional therapies. 

Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons at Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine are in the vanguard of orthopedic practice in gaining training and expertise in regenerative medicine to help you heal more quickly from soft tissue and joint injuries than in the past. 

We use platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to help ease pain for many patients with orthopedic damage from various etiologies. PRP is completely natural; it’s a mixture of your own blood.  

What happens during PRP therapy? 

Your Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine nurse draws your blood. Your physician then creates a special mixture of your blood in a machine called a centrifuge. The centrifuge creates a large mass of your blood platelets together in one place. The platelets are essential cells that help your blood clot. They also contain important nutrients. 

Our staff then injects the platelet-rich mixture back into your body at the site of the painful tissue. The high concentration of nutrients rushes to the site of your injury to jump-start the healing process. It’s not a complex procedure and doesn’t cause much discomfort. 

What types of orthopedic conditions can PRP help? 

Studies indicate that PRP can help heal soft tissue and joint conditions and injuries.  

Muscle and ligament injuries

Certain muscle injuries are more common than others. Muscle groups that cover two joints are especially prone to injury. These include the hamstrings, quadriceps, and hip flexors. Hamstring strain injuries represent 29% of all injuries in sports and are seen in up to 50% of sprinters.

All sports injuries require you to rest the injured area. Studies on PRP for muscle strains show that this regenerative medicine practice helps reduce swelling and pain and leads to faster healing. 

When combined with traditional therapy such as rest, medication, and physical therapy, patients are recovering faster than they would with only traditional practices. 

Tendon injuries

Our practice now uses PRP for tendon injuries that can typically take weeks, if not months, to heal. Tendons are poorly vascularized, meaning that blood flow to your tendons is weak. However, your blood has nutrients that are necessary to help heal your tendon tissue. 

Our treatment provides you with the best chance to return to play as quickly as possible. 

PRP is now increasingly widely used to treat various tendon injuries. Your tendons join your bones to your muscles throughout your body. Some of the most common tendons injured include: 

Osteoarthritis

PRP is good news for osteoarthritis patients. Studies show that PRP can help slow the progression of this type of arthritis. Almost one-quarter of adults in the United States suffer from osteoarthritis; it’s one of the most common reasons for workplace disability claims. The knee is the joint most commonly plagued with osteoarthritis. 

PRP’s properties help calm inflammation, supply rich nutrients to bones and blood vessels in your joints, and stimulate collagen production, a key protein that keeps your soft tissue healthy and strong. 

Studies conclude that PRP is an effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis, and it shows promise for hip, shoulder, and ankle joints. 

PRP is also beginning to be used for pain in the back and spine, including treatment for painful sacroiliac joints, facet joints, bulging/herniated discs, and more. PRP shows promise in calming inflammation and pain, and might delay or prevent surgery in some cases.  

Cases where PRP is contraindicated 

Not everyone is a candidate for PRP. If you have bone or blood cancer, anemia, a low platelet count, or some other health conditions, you’re not a candidate for PRP. 

If you are a candidate, you’ll need to stop using NSAIDs prior to the procedure, and you shouldn’t have cortisone shots in the weeks prior to the infusion. 

Call or book an appointment online today with Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine in West Memphis, Arkansas, and Collierville, Tennessee, to see if you’re a candidate for PRP therapy. 

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