Platelet – Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)
This is a new method for treating chronic orthopedic diseases and injuries. It is a regenerative technique that contributes to cell regeneration of the tendons and ligaments, thereby reducing recovery times and precluding the possible need for surgical treatment.
This applies to soft tissue diseases or injuries (such as tendonitis of the elbow, the Achilles and patellar tendon in refractions muscles, and joint injuries) involving tired joints (such as in cases of degeneration with micro-ruptures of the menisci of the knee) or moderate osteoarthritis of the knee, as well as skin sores or large deficits, which accelerate the production of new tissue and reduce recovery times.
According to this method, blood platelets from the same patient are used to repair defects of the tendons and ligaments with respect to the joint’s self-healing mechanisms. Tendons are the body tissues that connect muscles to bones, move the joints and ligaments, and connect and stabilize the joints. When tendons are traumatized, this results in acute inflammation, swelling and pain.
In most cases regarding chronic pain, there is no significant inflammation in the area, which is the reason that our body is unable to repair the damage. Also, traditional treatments involving rest, ice therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs do not address the problem in the long term and thus, patients suffer from excruciating pain for a long time, which limits their activities.
The solution entails the Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) treatment method, which recently received recognition by Emory Sports Medicine. The process is simple. Blood is collected from the patient in the amount of 10 cc to 60 cc, depending on the condition, and it is centrifuged for 15 minutes to separate the platelets. The fraction, which is rich in platelets, is injected in the region of the lesion.
It is known that platelets are necessary for clots to form in cases of injury. Their other function is to release growth factors that are responsible for almost all healing mechanisms occurring in the human body.
Growth factors that are injected into the lesion cause cell proliferation and differentiation in tissue in a way similar to the tissue being damaged.
After the injection, the rehabilitation program is comprised of frequent rest intervals for six weeks and entails avoiding anti-inflammatory drugs, smoking and alcohol. In difficult cases, the treatment is repeated three months later.
This method is highly efficient with no side effects, and it is safe. Its greatest advantage is that it does not involve the use of any drugs, but instead uses the patient’s own blood.