One of the newest advances in medicine in the last few years has been the development of the platelet-rich-plasma, or PRP, injections for a variety of orthopedic conditions. “PRP is a treatment option for many problems including joint pain due to tendonitis or osteoarthritis”, says Coreen Bisel, APRN working alongside Dr. Gregory Lynch in the Olathe branch.
During an injury, the platelets in your blood quickly make their way to the site to begin the healing process by stopping bleeding and to repair the tissues affected. Using PRP injections following an injury essentially jump starts the bodies own natural healing process. “One of the benefits is that PRP injections involve the patient’s own blood rather than a medication such as a steroid or hyaluronic acid (such as in Visco). A person’s own blood products are ideal because our blood contains special growth factors that promote healing and inhibit inflammation”, says Coreen.
The process by which your platelets are obtained uses a simple, quick blood draw, using less than an average cup of coffee’s worth of your own blood. This sample is then spun down in a centrifuge, and the platelets are spun out of the rest of your blood’s components. The cleaned platelet component is then injected directly into the problem area.
“These cells allow for stimulation of the body’s natural healing process and can accelerate tissue repair. PRP has been studied in comparison to steroid injections and Visco and it has been proven to provide similar (and sometimes better) pain relief and improved joint function at several months post-injection.”
Just a few of the benefits compared to other treatment methods for injuries are that there is no down time, it is relatively painless, and it is low risk. Most patients experience relief after only one injection, though multiple injections could be done if needed, usually spaced at least 12 weeks apart at the least. PRP injections are now a part of the variety or treatment options available at both the Overland Park and Olathe branches of Kansas City Bone and Joint Clinic. Call the office today to schedule a visit to see if you are a candidate.
Written by Riki Duncan, M.A. Ed, ATC, LAT