Athletes suffering from chronic pain because of tendon injuries can at last get relief from a safe, non-surgical procedure that can be done in the outpatient clinic. Named Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy, this advanced treatment utilizes platelets from the athletes’ own blood to rebuild a damaged tendon. It has been not only successful in relieving the pain, but also in stimulating the healing process.
Tendons are rope-like structures that connect muscle to bone, enabling the bone to move. They often bear significant force, and as a result are vulnerable to injury. Tendons have a limited blood supply, which limits their ability to heal. With the occurrence of tendon injury, it starts to become become inflamed, swollen and painful. This injury is often sustained by athletes while playing football, squash, basketball, or even baseball.
Sometimes, due to the severity of the injury or because of improper medical management, the situation becomes chronic and the pain becomes a daily nagging companion.
Patients should consider platelet-rich plasma therapy if they have been diagnosed with a tendon injury in which conservative treatment such as anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and bracing did not bring in a relief of symptoms.
For most patients, PRP therapy offers a solid alternative treatment for those who do not wish to have surgery. Patients can expect to see significant improvement in symptoms; elimination of the need for more traditional treatments such as cortisone injections or surgery; and a dramatic return of function.
How does it happen?
The process of preparing the PRP is relatively simple. A doctor draws a small amount of the patient’s blood (same as when going for a routine blood test) and spins it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets, the disc-shaped cells best known for their crucial role in clotting, from most of the red and white blood cells. The spinning concentrates the platelets in the plasma, the liquid part of blood. These platelets are then injected into the site of the injury, whether it’s a ligament, a tendon, or an arthritic ankle joint.
Does It Really Work?
Within 3 months on an average, the majority of PRP therapy patients report they can return to most or all of their life routines they were enjoying before the pain started.
How is the PRP therapy administered? Is it painful?
The PRP therapy is administrated through a local injection done by the attending orthopedic Surgeon. The preparation and the injection process usually take less than one hour only.
The number of injections varies based on each patient’s individualized condition and the sound judgment of the treating orthopedic Surgeon. Usually, the course comprises six injections in all. Patients typically experience significant reduction in pain after the first or second injection.
Mostly, PRP injections are not painful; however the discomfort level depends on the part being treated. Injections into the joint are of minimal discomfort. Occasionally there might be a minimum level of discomfort after the injection process, lasting for a couple of days and can be beaten down by over the counter pain killers.
Are There Risks with PRP?
Overall, PRP is a particularly safe treatment option with no risk of allergic reaction because it is derived from your own blood.
This treatment is not a “quick fix” and is designed to promote long-term healing of the injured tendons. Through regular follow-up visits, your Orthopedic Surgeon can determine when you are able to resume regular physical activities.
Consult Dr. Mohamed Saddam, the Orthopedic Surgery Specialist at German Medical Center – the best orthopedic clinic in Dubai. Dr. Saddam is an expert in the treatment of ankle injuries via PRP therapy.
If you have a sports injury and have questions about PRP injections consult Dr. Mohamed Saddam, the Orthopedic Surgery Specialist at German Medical Center – the best orthopedic clinic in Dubai. Dr. Saddam is an expert in the treatment of ankle injuries via PRP therapy.