The rate of development in medical research in the 21st century is quite astonishing. We only need to look at the ongoing covid-19 pandemic to see just how efficient the scientific world can be when they are put under pressure. However, a pandemic does unite the different sectors necessarily and cost became no object in developing the vaccines. In ‘normal life’ research and development is not so heavily funded.
We’re here to talk about a treatment process that has been under research for some years and that, as we shall see, is useful for many different medical problems. In particular we want to look at it in relation to joint and tendon issues. It’s called Platelet Rich Plasma – or PRP – and it is quite a fascinating process. Let’s first have a look at what PRP is.
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What is PRP?
For some further information we recommend this link – prp for joints fort lauderdale – which should tell you much more than we have space for. So, in brief, what is PRP?
Your blood consists of several elements. Platelets and Plasma are among them. These two elements are known to contain special proteins that encourage body tissue to grow. PRP is the substance obtained by a method we will describe in a moment that is isolated plasma that is rich in platelets and has no red or which blood cells.
This natural substance is obtained from the patient’s own blood, so there is no danger of contamination of external substances becoming involved. Let’s look at how PRP is obtained, how it works, and what to expect if you decide to undergo such a procedure.
How Does PRP Work?
Here’s another link at which you can see PRP explained in sensible terms. The object of PRP is to inject a substance into the area to be treated – in this case the joint – that will encourage the cells in that area to stimulate repair and growth. PRP is obtained as follows: a qualified practitioner will use a syringe to extract blood from a suitable point.
This blood is then put into a centrifuge where it is spun for a set time at a certain speed. This separates the plasma with platelets from the other elements in the blood. The plasma can then be extracted and injected into the joint.
The only pain will be the small sensation felt by each of the injections, and the entire process can be completed in a short time. It’s an out-patient process and one that may need a number of visits to keep up with the growth rate needed to deal with the pain or damage to the joint. Remember, it is entirely safe as it is your blood that is going back into your body. Now the big question: does PRP work for joints?
Does PRP Work for Joints?
When it comes to relieving joint pain there is every reason why a process that rejuvenates cell and tissue growth should help with regular joint pain and stiffness, damage to tendons, and other related issues. There are many reports of successful treatment by PRP for joint problems, and it is rapidly becoming more popular. The major bonus of this process is that it is entirely natural, and that it can be done quickly and painlessly without the requirement of an anaesthetic. It’s worth knowing that PRP has been researched for use in other areas so let’s have a brief look at some of these.
What Can PRP Treat?
For many people in medicine PRP is an exciting development and while research is ongoing in some of the following, it is firmly believed it will help the following problems:
- Hair loss.Doctors have injected PRP into the scalp to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss.
- Tendon injuries.Tendons are tough, thick bands of tissue that connect muscle to bone. They are usually slow to heal after injury. Doctors have used PRP injections to treat chronic tendon problems, such as tennis elbow and jumper’s knee, both commonly experienced by athletes.
- Acute injuries.Doctors have used PRP injections to treat acute sports injuries, such as pulled hamstring muscles or knee sprains.
- Postsurgical repair.Sometimes doctors use PRP injections after surgery to repair a torn tendon or ligaments.
- PRP injections in the knee may help people with osteoarthritis.
While not all of the above have been approved for PRP treatment by the FDA, research strongly suggests excellent success levels with an almost non-invasive procedure that has potential for many different uses.
What Should I Expect with a PRP Procedure?
If you are to undergo a PRP procedure your consultant will explain everything in detail in your initial consultation. They will give you information on how to prepare for the procedure, in some cases a local anaesthetic may need to be administered for example, and what you should expect.
The doctor will use an ultrasound or other imaging solution to ensure the plasma is injected directly into the area where it will have the greatest effect. When you talk to the consultant ensure that you tell them of any medical conditions you suffer from and medication you may be taking, as this information is important to them.
After the procedure you may be instructed to rest the joint concerned, but this will depend on the individual and the problem being treated. In some case you may in fact be instructed to go straight into a light exercise regime which can stimulate the blood flow and encourage tissue growth.
Is PRP Safe?
Although a relatively new procedure a vast amount of research has gone into PRP, and all the data says it is a thoroughly safe, tried, and tested procedure. As it uses only blood extracted from your body the risk of contamination is minimized and safety enhanced. If you are concerned ask the consultant to explain any area of the process that you want to understand better, and they will be more than happy to put you at ease.