Platelet-rich plasma injections offer a promising solution to accelerate healing of tendon injuries and osteoarthritis naturally without subjecting the patient to significant risk. Dr. Odell became one of the first sports medicine doctors in the Midwest to begin offering platelet-rich plasma injections (PRP). PRP is an innovative treatment that uses a patient’s own “supercharged” blood to heal soft-tissue injuries. Dr. Odell performs this procedure the same way as conventional injections for arthritis, or injections for knee pain.
Physicians have successfully used PRP injections with professional athletes to treat acute injuries, but the therapy has only recently made its way into the chronic injury arena. Midwest Sports Medicine offers the therapy as an effective treatment for recreational athletes, people with chronic injury, arthritis sufferers and candidates for knee pain injection.
What are platelets?
Platelets are the first cells to arrive at the site of a new injury, and they are a rich source of growth factors necessary for tissue healing. Once injected into tissue, the platelets become “activated” and release their growth factors. These growth factors have the ability to stimulate tendon and tissue healing, and recruit cells that will eventually form new tissue.
How does it work?
PRP is virtually a cocktail of many proteins that collectively stimulate repair and regeneration. However there are some proteins included in PRP that we can now selectively isolate to promote anti-inflammatory effects and pain reduction.
Platelet-rich plasma injections involve injecting small amounts of plasma (the water portion of blood) and concentrated platelets into areas of ligament, tendon or muscle damage. First, a small amount of the patient’s own blood is drawn. The platelets are concentrated in a specialized laboratory device that isolates the platelets from the rest of the blood. Then the concentrated platelets are injected into the precise location of tissue injury, sometimes using ultrasound guidance to direct the needle.
As with any treatment for pain, responses to therapy vary. The number of injections and appointments varies from patient to patient. While many patients may receive favorable results, there are no guarantees that the procedure will be effective for everyone. However, with the incorporation of this skilled technique utilizing ultrasound guidance we are seeing improved results with much less post injection pain.