PRP Therapy: What’s All the Buzz About?

Knee Surgeon Pottstown, PA

Anyone who has ever injured a knee tendon is aware that healing tendon damage can be a long and drawn out process. Recovery, particularly after surgical repairs, is a daily interruption and inconvenience.

PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy first gained notable attention in the United States in 2009. Pittsburgh Steelers Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu both had PRP injections and recovered quickly, ensuring they could play in the Super Bowl. 

If you need tendon repair, have recently undergone knee surgery, or you suffer from pain associated with osteoarthritis in your knee(s), you may benefit from looking into this non-surgical treatment. This therapy speeds up the healing process by manipulating the body’s restorative abilities using materials found in a patient’s own blood.

PRP Explained 

Blood platelets are a typical part of your body’s healing processes. Platelets attach to an injury site and release substances that encourage growth and healing. PRP therapy focuses on using these platelets for tissue healing and repair and is a more straightforward process than you might expect. 

As an experienced Pottstown, PA knee surgeon can explain during a PRP-related consultation (either as a complement to surgery or a non-surgical alternative to surgery), blood is drawn from an arm and into a vial. The blood is then placed in a particular type of centrifuge that spins the blood. Spinning the blood separates and concentrates the platelets from the other cells so they can be collected for injection into the body. 

The doctor uses imagery, such as an ultrasound, to pinpoint the injury and then injects the platelets directly into that area. As a result, the patient receiving the injection will have more platelets focused on the injured area to heal and repair it than they would be if injections were performed “blind.” Cutting-edge medical centers, like Premier Osteoarthritis Centers of Pennsylvania, never perform blind injections.

Since PRP therapy uses a patient’s own blood, there is minimal risk for any rejection reaction. There is no need for anesthesia, surgical invasion, or a hospital stay. The procedure typically takes about an hour and can be done in the PRP doctor’s office.

What Injuries Can PRP Be Used For?

PRP may be useful in numerous injuries and diseases. PRP has become popular as a treatment for conditions as diverse as these:

  • ACL and MCL tendon injuries and tears
  • Knee and other joint pain, 
  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Jumper’s knee
  • Rotator cuff tears 
  • Pelvic pain 
  • Tennis elbow
  • Back and neck injuries

There are a lot of reasons to consider this treatment instead of surgery or as a complementary procedure to surgery designed to promote and speed healing.  Scheduling a consultation with a PRP doctor to ask questions and determine if this new procedure is right for your unique needs may be worth your time and effort.