Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is administered via injections to enhance the body’s healing processes. Plasma, a blood component containing clotting factors and cell growth-supporting proteins, is isolated and concentrated to create PRP.
PRP injections primarily aim to stimulate the growth of fresh, healthy cells and facilitate healing. In the field of orthopaedics, PRP injections are frequently employed to address joint pain and various bone conditions, as well as to encourage bone formation during spinal fusion surgery.
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Which Orthopaedic conditions is PRP therapy effective for treating?
PRP therapy offers a versatile treatment option for a range of Orthopaedic conditions and concerns, such as:
1. Sports/auto accident injuries
PRP therapy can accelerate the healing process, enhancing efficiency and speed. It accomplishes this by signalling the body’s innate healing mechanisms to prioritize the injured area, allocating increased internal resources for more effective and expedited healing.
The following are a few examples of where PRP therapy can be effective:
- Tennis elbow
- Knee sprains
- Achilles tendonitis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome.
2. Post-surgery wounds
Post-surgery recovery can be lengthy, and although surgery is often essential for long-term health, the healing period may span several months.
PRP therapy can expedite recovery, enabling a faster return to your everyday life. This is particularly advantageous if you have concerns related to any of the following areas:
Arthritis may be incurable, but PRP therapy offers relief by alleviating joint pain and inflammation, allowing patients to maintain a good quality of life. PRP therapy can effectively address various forms of arthritis pain, including:
- Knee pain
- Hip pain
- Shoulder pain
- Ankle pain.
4. Patellar tendinopathy
Patellar tendinopathy, commonly known as jumper’s knee, is a frequent overuse tendon ailment. PRP therapy shows potential in assisting the regeneration of tissues with limited inherent healing capability.
While the solid evidence of PRP’s effectiveness in this context is limited, a recent meta-analysis, which included only two randomized controlled trials, compared PRP injections with extracorporeal shockwave therapy and dry needling for the tendon.
The findings revealed no significant difference at the 3-month mark but indicated superior results favouring PRP treatment in more extended follow-up periods, such as six months or beyond.
5. Lateral epicondylitis
Lateral epicondylitis (LE), commonly known as tennis elbow, affects around 3% of individuals. Traditional treatments include rest, physical therapy, and steroid injections.
PRP therapy has gained attention as a long-term solution for severe cases. Research shows PRP’s efficacy; one study reported a 60% pain improvement after eight weeks, increasing to over 90% at long-term follow-up. Recent meta-analyses confirm PRP’s effectiveness, with significant pain reduction and improved functional outcomes compared to steroids and autologous blood.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, a regenerative treatment, is versatile and practical for various medical conditions. PRP therapy accelerates healing and recovery, proving beneficial for sports injuries, post-surgery wounds, arthritis, patellar tendinopathy, and lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow).
Its ability to stimulate the body’s healing mechanisms and relieve pain makes PRP a promising solution for enhanced well-being and quality of life, extending beyond orthopaedics.