Dr. William Knudson describes platelets as the blue collar workers of the blood. They are the cells that do the hard work of repairing soft tissue upon injury. Now, advancements in pain management mean doctors can harness the power of the platelet to promote growth and heal injuries using the body’s own defense system.
Plasma Rich Platelet therapy, or PRP, is an advanced treatment method that involves extracting platelets from the blood and injecting them directly into an injured area, Dr. William Knudson explains. The procedure usually lasts under three hours per visit, including preparation, injection, and recovery time. Performed in-office without the use of anesthesia, most patients report returning to regular activities the same day. PRP therapy is spread out over the course of six months. During this time, the attending physician will monitor pain levels and check for new, healthy growth in the damaged area.
Platelets are rich in healing properties and are the first cells to respond to soft tissue injury. They attract stem cells, which replace diseased or damaged cells. This type of self-regeneration is critical to the body’s healing process. Dr. William Knudson notes that PRP therapy simply speeds this process along by using the body’s own platelets. This works to ensure the body doesn’t reject the treatment since these cells should be present anyway. Additionally, using the patient’s blood drastically decreases the risk of allergic reaction and eliminates the potential for transmittable infection.
PRP therapy is the next generation of pain management. Dr. William Knudson reports that it’s effective in the treatment of podiatric conditions including plantar fasciitis. Additionally, PRP is commonly used to treat tendonitis, ligament sprains, Tennis Elbow, pelvic pain, spinal and ACL injuries, rotator cuff tears, and some forms of osteoarthritis.
Dr. William Knudson notes that since PRP encourages self-recovery, the results are expected to last. Many individuals feel a noticeable decrease in pain within weeks of their first treatment. An MRI or ultrasound may be used to confirm the healing process by looking for definitive tissue repair. Overall, PRP is a safe, effective, and non-intrusive way to relieve pain and reduce the need for surgery before extensive damage from neglect or overuse occurs.