What Conditions Can Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections Treat?
You may have heard of athletes such as Peyton Manning and Tiger Woods getting platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections to help heal an injury. These shots are increasingly being used to treat sports injuries and various types of conditions, ranging from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries and rotator cuff tears to plantar fasciitis and arthritis. If you are suffering from such conditions, it’s time to learn more about what a PRP treatment is and how it can benefit you.
Conditions PRP Injections Treat
Doctors use PRP injections to target specific types of injuries and ailments. At NY Orthopedics, we treat a variety of conditions that include:
Tendonitis and Chronic Tendon Injuries
One of the most common uses of PRP therapy is to treat tendon injuries caused by repetitive movements, such as a torn rotator cuff or tennis elbow. These injuries can be difficult to heal — not just because of repeated aggravation but also because blood flow to the affected tendons may be poor. PRP injections help concentrate the healing platelet cells at the tear site so that the tissue can regenerate more quickly. This procedure can also be used to treat ailments like chronic rotator cuff tendonitis or bursitis.
Ligament and Muscle Injuries
Ligaments are a type of connective tissue that connects cartilage and bone together, typically in the joints. They often wear out due to the active role these joints play in our lives. While many ligament injuries are caused through athletic activities, others are simply a matter of wear and tear. PRP injections are used to address medial collateral ligament (MCL) tears or injuries, which is usually the result of a hit or blow to the outer side of the knee.
The progression of chronic degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis, can be halted or slowed down with PRP treatments. The injections work to reduce inflammation at the joints and enable more lubrication, which helps decrease pain caused by the degenerative joint disease. PRP is also effective in addressing arthritis in the knees, hip joints and shoulders.
Nerve Damage and Injury
More doctors are using PRP therapy to treat many nerve injuries in the peripheral nervous system, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. The PRP treatments prove effective in helping reduce pain, regenerate nerve tissues, and restore proper function.
How Do PRP Injections Work?
Platelet-rich plasma therapy uses injections that consist of a patient’s own platelets to accelerate the healing of injured ligaments, muscles, tendons, and joints. The injections utilize the patient’s own healing system to improve various musculoskeletal problems.
The injections are prepared by taking a few tubes of your own blood and running it through a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets. The activated platelets are then injected directly into the injured or diseased body tissue. This releases the growth factors that stimulate and increase the number of reparative cells your body produces.
Ultrasound imaging is often used to pinpoint the exact area of treatment during the injections. This ensures accuracy when guiding the shot, particularly when injecting into the joint capsule in arthritis patients.
PRP injections may cause temporary inflammation, pain, and swelling. Your doctor may recommend that you take it easy for a few days to avoid putting strain on the affected area. They may also suggest wearing a brace or sling to protect and immobilize the affected joint. A few weeks after your treatment, your doctor may encourage physical therapy to aid in your long-term healing and continued recovery.
It’s important to keep in mind that most doctors do not consider PRP injections a stand-alone treatment. Instead, PRP therapy is one element in a multi-faceted rehabilitation treatment plan that may include cold or heat therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, stretching, and rest from painful activities. General guidelines for rehabilitation after PRP treatment may vary depending on your condition. Your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan based on your needs.
Platelet-rich plasma injections have become immensely popular as a treatment for various injuries that utilizes the body’s natural self-healing capabilities. We offer multiple locations across New York and an office in New Jersey with top-level treatment to help regain your mobility and provide relief for your joints. Make an appointment with one of our doctors to start your healing journey today.