Platelet Rich Plasma
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a treatment in which the platelets from the patient’s blood are placed into a centrifuge and then injected back into the patient to incite natural healing. In many cases the use of PRP may eliminate the need for surgery. This practice has been around and in use by podiatrists for over twenty years and continues to progress and serve as the solution to a growing number of ailments.
Platelet-rich Plasma contains platelets, which are the first responders to soft tissue injury. They initiate repair oft the injury and recruit other cells to the injury to start the healing and repair process. PRP injections concentrate the number of platelets in the area of injury, which then stimulates and speeds up the healing process.
Platelets in blood play multiple roles in the body, and healing depends on them. Their main function is to heal and create blood clots. Having no nucleus of their own, platelets are derived from bone marrow before entering circulation in the bloodstream.
The Healing factor is what allows platelets to act in a way similar to a time-released pill. They are able to release different growth stimulants in an injured part of the body at different times and different levels during the body’s natural healing process. In the use of PRP, doctors use concentration of the platelets, somewhere between three to ten times the normal amount to jumpstart the healing process. PRP is essentially a natural kickstart to the body’s natural healing process of injuries that have “hit a wall” in the healing process or are not healing on their own.
Re: Plantar fasciitis, a recent study has shown that PRP has proven to be a more effective treatment than one of the traditional treatments a cortisone shot. The study reports that 78% of recipients of PRP reported no symptoms a year after the procedure. Symptoms did not always respond to the traditional cortisone shot as well as they did to a PRP shot.
Most ailments that PRP treats will require multiple injections. In certain situations, it is recommended that up to three shots can be given within the first six months of treatment. The multiple treatments should be administered within 2-3 weeks of each other. The entire procedure takes less than 25 minutes. In cases where surgery is recommended, PRP is still used at times as this can help improve healing times.
While using PRP does not always produce guaranteed instant results, most patients do see positive changes even after the first injection. Although multiple PRP injections may be required over a six-month period, it is still a much simpler procedure for patients to endure than a full-blown surgery. PRP is helping many people avoid invasive procedures and is here to stay.