A small amount of your own blood can speed up the healing process and reduce pain caused by conditions like osteoarthritis in the knee, shoulder, hip or spine. It can also treat anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, ankle and ligament sprains, pelvic pain and instability, back and neck injuries, rotator cuff tears, tennis elbow, tendonitis and chronic plantar fasciitis.
Balcones Pain Consultants can provide a relatively new treatment called platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy. Blood platelets contain hundreds of proteins called “growth factors,” which are very important in healing injuries. In fact, among the body’s first responses to a soft tissue injury is to direct platelet cells to the injured area to help with repairs.
PRP uses plasma with many more platelets than typically found in blood. The platelet concentration – and, therefore, the concentration of growth factors – can be 5 to 10 times greater (or richer) than usual. And since your own blood is used, risk of transmissible infection is erased.
Here’s how it works: A small amount of your own blood – about as much as a lab test sample – is drawn, then spun at a high speed in a centrifuge to separate the platelets. The platelets are then carefully and precisely injected into the damaged, painful area of your body.
Several injections over several months may be required, but complete healing and pain relief can occur within weeks after just one or two injections, returning patients to normal activities at work and home, according to some studies. Ultrasounds and magnetic resonance images (MRIs) have definitively confirmed healing has occurred in patients after PRP therapy.
If injured tissues are treated before damage increases and becomes irreversible, patient won’t have to deal with surgery, general anesthesia and associated risks. Also, they eliminate the need for hospital stays and sizable medical bills, a prolonged period of recovery, and missed time at work.