Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is an innovative treatment to promote the natural healing process in patients with orthopedic injuries and conditions. It has been found to be particularly effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis, by helping to relieve joint pain and other symptoms.
PRP therapy is a regenerative medicine treatment that utilizes components from your own body to relieve pain and promote the regeneration of new, healthy tissue. It can be used to treat a range of conditions,such as tendon and ligament injuries and othersoft tissue injuries. This revolutionary therapy can also be an effective treatment for chronic orthopedic conditions, including osteoarthritis.
Why are Platelets Important?
Platelets, also called thrombocytes, are blood cells that play a key role in the body’s natural healing process. In addition to helping blood to clot when they recognize damaged blood vessels, platelets also contain important growth factors that help promote cell reproduction and stimulate tissue regeneration. Plasma is the liquid component of blood, composed largely of water and proteins. Plasma is what allows the platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells to circulate throughout the body. It is also needed to distribute nutrients, remove waste, help the body recover from injury, and prevent infection, while travelling through the circulatory system.
How Does PRP Therapy Work?
Because platelets are the first to respond to injury and play a key role in the body’s natural healing process, they can be utilized to jump-start the repair process for many chronic orthopedic conditions and injuries. PRP therapy aims to take advantage of a patient’s healing system using their own blood. Laboratory studies have shown that PRP therapy encourages cell regeneration and accelerates the healing of injured joints,tendons, ligaments, and muscles when platelet-rich plasma is injected directly into the affected area.
The PRP injections are prepared by taking a small blood draw from the patient, similar to a lab test sample. The blood is then spun in a centrifuge at high speeds to separate the platelets from the other components in the blood. The concentrated platelet rich plasma (PRP) is then injected into the affected area, thereby stimulating the healing process and the growth of healthy new cells. To ensure accuracy, ultrasound guidance may be used to direct the injection.
PRP therapy uses blood that is concentrated with more platelets than normal to treat damaged tissue and speed up the body’s natural healing response to injury. Because treatment is derived from the patient’s own blood, there is minimal risk of side effects or allergic reactions, making it a very safe treatment.
How Does PRP Therapy Work for Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects joints, causing them to become painful and stiff. It is the result of progressive deterioration, usually because of trauma or wear and tear. The condition occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of bones wears down over time, leading to exposure of the bone surface. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint, the condition often affects joints in the knees, hips, hands, and spine.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis often develop slowly, worsening over time, and can include:
- A reduced range of motion and difficulty moving the affected joint
- Joint swelling
- A grating sensation when using the joint
- Bone spurs around the affected joint
PRP can help to repair cartilage and in turn, reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis, such as pain, stiffness, and inflammation. The growth factors in the platelets are thought to stimulate the production of the cells responsible for the formation of new cartilage. This helps to repair the damaged cartilage and relieve symptoms.
Treatment is typically recommended for early or mid-stage osteoarthritis and may delay the need for more invasive treatments, such as joint replacement surgery. Multiple treatments may be necessary to achieve desired outcomes and additional injections may be required in the future to maintain results.
PRP therapy is growing in popularity as an effective treatment choice due to its ability to utilize and supercharge the body’s natural healing process. It can be used alone or in conjunction with other treatments, such as physical therapy or stem cell therapy, for better results.
PRP Treatments Near Me in Little Rock, AR
If you would like to learn more about PRP therapy and whether it could work for you, contact the friendly staff at the office of board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. William Hefley.
Dr. Hefley specializes in a broad range of orthopedic conditions affecting the shoulder, hip, and knee, including osteoarthritis. Providing a variety of both surgical and nonsurgical treatments, Dr. Hefley can help you get back to doing the activities you enjoy – free of pain.