Living with chronic pain from an injury can have devastating results. You may feel hopeless with the non-stop discomfort and ineffective treatments. The limited mobility and isolation that can result are associated with an increased incidence of anxiety and depression, opioid dependence, and lower quality of life among people with chronic pain, according to Mental Health America.
If you’re frustrated by an injury that hasn’t reacted to traditional treatments, you may benefit from platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. This treatment uses your body’s natural healing mechanisms to regenerate damaged cells and tissues. When effective, PRP therapy can help relieve chronic pain, restore mobility, and give you the chance to return to your life.
Orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist James M. Lee, Jr., MD, of Orange Orthopaedic Associates in West Orange, New Jersey, has extensive experience using innovative treatments like PRP therapy to treat a wide range of orthopedic injuries. Dr. Lee’s knowledge and experience ensure that your PRP therapy leads to the best possible results.
Learn the truth about some of the common myths we’ve heard about PRP therapy so you can understand how this treatment works and whether you might benefit from it.
Myth #1: PRP therapy is an experimental technique
The processes involved with PRP therapy utilize your body’s ability to promote healing and restore function. PRP is a natural treatment that uses established mechanisms as therapy.
Platelets contain hundreds of proteins, including growth factors that help injuries heal. When you experience an injury or bleeding, your body sends platelets to the site so these proteins can help blood clot. The proteins in platelets stimulate tissue growth. The growth factors attract stem cells and blood flow to the wounded area and increase collagen production, all of which helps speed up the healing process.
The use of PRP therapy isn’t necessarily new. PRP’s properties were identified in the 1970s when it was isolated as a transfusion product. Ten years later, some of the first applications of PRP included use in maxillofacial surgery.
More recently, PRP therapy has proven beneficial for treating a wide range of musculoskeletal injuries. The widespread media attention that resulted from its use to treat injuries in professional athletes created interest and increased popularity.
Myth #2: Only professional athletes have access to PRP therapy
While the media has publicized how PRP therapy aided in the recovery of professional athletes like golfer Tiger Woods, you don’t have to be an elite athlete to access this innovative treatment. The offices of Orange Orthopaedic Associates have the equipment necessary to offer this outpatient therapy to all patients experiencing pain from injuries.
Dr. Lee completes all stages of your PRP therapy onsite. He creates your PRP solution by placing a sample of your blood in a centrifuge to isolate the platelets. The platelets fill a syringe for injection into the treatment site. The concentration of platelets in the injection can range between five and 10 times more than the number of platelets in the same volume of untreated blood.
Dr. Lee may also use the assistance of ultrasound or fluoroscopy to properly position the injection at the site of the injured joint or tendon.
Myth #3: PRP therapy can’t help my specific injury
While no treatment offers a guarantee, patients have reported positive results from PRP therapy for damaged soft tissues including muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Results include reduced joint inflammation and pain. The treatment may also promote healing in injured bones and cartilage.
Depending on the location and source of your pain, you may benefit from PRP therapy if you have the following conditions:
- Arthritis of the knee or hip
- Cartilage injuries
- Ligament or muscle strains
- Rotator cuff injuries
Myth #4: PRP therapy isn’t safe
PRP therapy uses your blood, so there’s no risk of having an allergic reaction to the contents of the injection. After the treatment, you may notice slight pain or tenderness at the injection site, though this sensation is temporary.
Dr. Lee determines whether PRP therapy is safe for you based on your general health and specific injury. The risks associated with PRP therapy, such as nerve damage, tissue damage, or infection, are comparable to those reported with traditional cortisone injections, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Find out if PRP therapy can help heal your injury and get back to living. Schedule an appointment online or call our office to arrange a consultation that could lead to a better life.