Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy has been around for quite some time. But over the past decade or so, its use in treating orthopedic issues has soared.
That’s because PRP works so well in promoting natural healing, repairing damaged tissues, and reducing inflammation. As a top orthopedic specialist in North Jersey, James M. Lee Jr., MD, uses PRP injections to relieve pain and restore mobility for our patients at Orange Orthopaedic Associates.
Here’s how PRP could help you.
PRP: The basics
Just as the name implies, PRP is composed of platelets and plasma, two components of your blood. Plasma is the liquid part of your blood, while platelets play a major role in healing and tissue repair.
Your blood normally contains platelets, which assist in healing. But PRP is concentrated, which means it contains lots of platelets — far more than the number normally found in your blood.
When we inject PRP into an area of damaged tissue, tiny proteins called growth factors go to work repairing tissue and promoting natural healing.
Since PRP is derived from your own blood, you don’t have to worry about allergies or other reactions. We administer PRP injections right in our office during a simple outpatient procedure. The PRP solution can also be applied during surgery to jumpstart healing.
Many uses of PRP
PRP is widely used in orthopedics to treat an array of injuries and conditions. Here are some of them.
Arthritis is a degenerative joint condition that affects almost 60 million Americans. In arthritis, the joint surfaces are damaged, increasing inflammation and causing significant pain inside the joint.
PRP is widely used in arthritis treatment, both to reduce inflammation and to promote natural repair of damaged cartilage. PRP may also help slow the progression of arthritis, postponing or eliminating the need for joint surgery.
Elbow and ankle tendon injuries
Tendons are strong, fibrous bands that connect muscles to bones. PRP can be especially helpful in treating tendons that are inflamed or irritated due to overuse or repetitive use injuries, including injuries like tennis and golfer’s elbow and Achilles tendinitis.
Soft tissue injuries
Muscle strains are a common cause of both acute and common pain. PRP injections help repair strained or irritated muscle tissue so you can move without discomfort.
Rotator cuff injuries
Rotator cuff tears are a common cause of shoulder pain, especially among people who do a lot of lifting, throwing, or swinging, as well as people who use their arms and shoulders a lot for their work.
PRP helps repair and restore damaged rotator cuff tendons and muscles, relieving pain and helping restore normal shoulder movement.
In addition to its use in orthopedics, PRP is also used in hair replacement treatments, oral surgery, and cosmetic treatments to help repair the effects of aging.
PRP procedure: What to expect
PRP treatment begins with a simple blood draw. We extract a very small amount of your blood, then process it using a special device that separates the plasma and platelets from the rest of your blood. We purify the platelet-plasma combination and inject it into the treatment site.
There’s no downtime afterward, but we give you special instructions to help you recover and heal more quickly. As with any injection, you might have some initial discomfort in the area immediately afterward and lasting for a few days.
Find out if PRP can help you
PRP is a safe and effective treatment for many orthopedic issues. To learn more about PRP injections at our offices in Bayonne and West Orange, New Jersey, book an appointment online or over the phone with us at Orange Orthopaedic Associates today.