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What is PRP Treatment?

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is an injection that is used in the treatment of chronic tendon injuries. It offers the benefit of reduced pain and increased mobility. As a knee pain doctor in Exton, PA like our friends at Premier Osteoarthritis Centers of Pennsylvania can explain, PRP therapy may be used alone or as part of a comprehensive treatment plan aimed at reducing pain and improving function.

PRP injections may be a useful treatment for other musculoskeletal problems, including osteoarthritis and ligament injuries. Research is promising, and more and more people are choosing PRP options for treatment of ongoing pain and motion restriction in the body.

 

Advantages of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
Patients diagnosed with tendon injuries such as tendinosis or tendinopathy might consider PRP therapy for several reasons, including:

 

  • Tendon pain affects your lifestyle and daily activities
  • There has been a lack of adequate relief from other treatments
  • Physical therapy has not satisfactorily relieved symptoms or improved function
  • Cortisone injections, which are temporary and can lead to recurrence of symptoms, have not worked or if steroids are an undesirable option. 
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen may help with pain reduction but carry unwanted side effects. Plus, frequent use can cause or aggravate stomach problems, blood pressure, and heart issues
  • Minor or arthroscopic surgeries for tendon damage and wear are not always effective and can be riskier
  • Surgical treatment is not a viable option or is not desired

PRP is minimally invasive and low risk. There is no surefire way to treat damaged or degraded tendons, so PRP therapy may be worth trying.

How Does PRP Work?

Research indicates that platelet-rich plasma injections promote regeneration of tendon cells. The problem with tendons in regards to healing is that the body offers them an inadequate blood supply. Without plentiful blood supply to give the tendon cells oxygen and nutrients and to carry away waste and debris, they are not as easy to heal as other body tissues and structures. That is why most other solutions to tendon issues focus on surgical alteration, medications, or physical strengthening.

If an injured or damaged tendon doesn’t respond to rest and physical therapy, it may be time to consider PRP treatment. It is thought that the natural healing properties found in platelets and plasma can contribute to healing and repair in damaged tendons. When treating an injured or damaged tendon with platelet-rich plasma, the doctor injects the PRP directly into the affected area with the goal of:

  • Reducing pain
  • Improving joint function
  • Repairing damaged tissue

How to Choose a PRP Therapy Doctor 

When selecting a professional for PRP therapy, you may want to ask about:

  • Potential risks
  • Possible benefits
  • Diagnosis and assessment 
  • Steps of the procedure
  • Follow-up protocols
  • Time needed for healing and expectations for recovery
  • Cost, and what portion, if any, is covered by insurance

If you think this treatment may be helpful for your unique condition, or if you’re curious and want to know more, contact a doctor who focuses on PRP treatments and therapies. Once you schedule an appointment, you could be on your way to the relief from pain and improved mobility you are seeking.