What is Platelet-Rich Plasma?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a revolutionary treatment that can relieve pain and promote long-lasting healing of musculoskeletal conditions. The popularity of this therapy has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years.
PRP therapy is often used in sports medicine and pain management. Its use is associated with a reduction in pain and faster healing – without the risks and costs of surgery. With PRP therapy, there is no need for general anesthesia or a hospital or surgery center stay, and no prolonged recovery. In fact, most people return to their jobs or usual activities right after the PRP therapy procedure.
PRP therapy is performed as a brief (1-2 hours) procedure in the doctor’s office. Considered a type of regenerative medicine, PRP therapy involves drawing blood from a patient and spinning the blood in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the rest of the blood. These platelets contain growth factors, which are important to healing. A concentration of platelets is then re-injected at the site of injury to stimulate the body’s own natural healing process in the area.
In some cases, PRP therapy may be used during a surgery to improve a patient’s post-op healing. It may also be used in conjunction with stem cell therapy, another regenerative medicine approach.
Frequently Asked Questions About PRP Treatment
PRP therapy is a rapidly emerging technique that is showing exciting potential with osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder, hip, and spine. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative bone disease that causes loss of mobility, chronic pain, and stiffness, and can be quite debilitating for more than 30 million American adults.
PRP therapy is also showing promising results in patients with a variety of orthopedic injuries such as rotator cuff tears, chronic plantar fasciitis, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, tennis elbow, ankle sprains, tendonitis, and ligament sprains.
Most insurance plans do not yet cover PRP therapy. Please contact your insurance provider to find out if you’re covered.
At Advanced Bone & Joint, we accept checks or credit cards in payment for PRP therapy. The therapy is not overly expensive, and it often helps patients avoid the high cost of surgery, so the ultimate cost-benefit ratio is very favorable indeed.
Initial improvement may be seen within a few weeks, gradually increasing as the natural healing progresses.
The goal of PRP therapy is to resolve pain through healing and long-lasting results. Research has shown PRP therapy to be effective at relieving pain and returning patients to their normal activities and daily lives. Both ultrasound and MRI images have shown definitive tissue repair after PRP therapy, confirming the healing process.
Up to three PRP treatments may be provided within a six-month time frame, usually performed two to three weeks apart. You may find, however, that you experience considerable to complete relief of your symptoms after the first or second therapy session.
In recent years, news headlines have featured the amazing results that professional athletes have experienced with PRP therapy.
Professional football players Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers received PRP therapy after injuries that should have sidelined them for months; instead, they returned to play in a matter of weeks, winning the Super Bowl the same year.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Takashi Saito received PRP therapy for an elbow condition and returned to play in just a few months, versus the 14 months that would’ve been required to recover from surgery.
Unprecedented results have also been reported for other professional soccer, baseball, and football players.
While PRP therapy is just beginning to become mainstream news, it actually has been around for quite some time.
PRP therapy has been used for more than 20 years in dentistry to promote healing following jaw reconstruction for patients with cancer.
Its use has expanded to other medical specialties, including cardiovascular surgery, orthopedics, sports medicine, urology, cosmetic surgery, and ophthalmology.
PRP Therapy in St. Louis, Missouri: A Nonsurgical Option for Ligament and Tendon Injuries
PRP therapy may be the alternative to surgery you’ve been hoping for. Schedule your visit with sports medicine physician Dr. Brandon Larkin at Advanced Bone & Joint to discuss your treatment options and whether regenerative medicine is right for you. Call (636) 229-4222 or request your appointment now.