Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections allow the body to heal naturally. Recently, when researching the body’s reaction to its own blood, the ability to incite the body to heal itself was discovered. Many professional athletes use this method of natural healing to help repair sprained knees, chronic tendon injuries, shoulder injuries, and elbow issues. Most of these injuries are typically treated with medication, physical therapy, or even surgery in some severe cases. However, PRP has been credited for getting athletes back in action quickly. Essentially, we are tapping into the individual’s healing system to promote self-healing. Platelet-Rich Plasma is not an anti-inflammatory or a narcotic. It is your blood, and we are using your system to heal itself.

Patient receiving PRP injection to relieve knee pain

What Conditions Can This Therapy Help

At Riopelle Sports Medicine in San Ramon, we have used this therapy on patients who have chronic tendonitis, or an abnormality in the tendons like tennis elbow or golfer’s elbow, an injured rotator cuff, and even tears. We can help patients improve body function and have less pain. In fact, a good percentage of our patients have seen a tendon that has healed from a tear. Patients with arthritis also seem to find significant results, as this condition has a significant response to this therapy, particularly if therapy begins early. We have not demonstrated new cartilage production yet with this therapy. Still, we’ve demonstrated no progression of arthritis after a year, and, systematically, patients seem to be doing much better. You will certainly need some relative rest for the first two weeks.

Platelet activation plays a vital role in the process of wound and soft tissue healing. The use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a portion of the patient’s own blood with a platelet concentration above baseline, can be applied to promote healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints to various musculoskeletal problems.

How PRP Therapy Works

The process for Platelet-Rich Plasma is relatively simple. The patient attends their appointment; we identify the body’s problem, draw blood, spin it down, and concentrate the platelets so they are concentrated much greater than they would typically be in the system. Next, we introduce their own platelets into the injured area. The doctor utilizes ultrasound to scan the affected area to identify the injury and any irregularities. The purpose is to observe the tendons to identify any tears or rips and bone structure to identify structural issues such as calcium buildups and spurs. Then, the doctor will inject the freshly concentrated platelets directly into the affected area. By injecting these platelets into the injured area, it is releasing the body’s own growth factors. Those growth factors are what the body uses to heal tissue. Essentially, it works to reboot the healing computer in the body. It then becomes a beautiful alternative for various ailments that we think to be appropriate, and nobody rejects their own blood.

To learn more about Platelet-Rich Plasma and if you are a good candidate for this therapy, call Riopelle Sports Medicine in San Ramon, CA at (925) 393-0333 to schedule an appointment.

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