Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) Injections for Sports Injuries
When an injury occurs, the initial stage of healing consists of inflammation and migration of healing cells to the injured area. Sometimes this initial phase is either not strong enough or is completely halted to naturally heal the injury. In these cases, the injury is prolonged and becomes “chronic”. Early studies suggest that Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) Injections or “Sports Medicine Injections” may help boost this initial phase of healing to assist the body in its natural healing process. With this in mind, studies are also being performed to look at acute injuries and faster healing times with the boost of PRP injections in professional sports.
Platelets, which naturally circulate in the blood, contain factors essential for healing. For a PRP Injection, a small amount of blood is drawn from the patient which is then immediately centrifuged to separate the different components. The component which contains all of the platelets is isolated and used for the injection. This small component contains a higher than normal concentration of platelets thus more healing factors. It is then injected into the area of the injury to help promote and boost the initial stage of healing. It is like taking a “chronic” injury that isn’t healing and turning it back into an “acute” injury which is more likely to heal. Common injuries treated with PRP injections are chronic plantar fasciitis, chronic tendonitis and chronic capsulitis. Other chronic issues such as arthritis, fracture and fusion non-unions, and chronic ankle sprains and instability are also being looked at and treated with PRP injections. PRP injections are also being used for acute ligament and muscle injuries as well as fractures in professional sports and other elite platforms. It has been suggested that a faster healing time may occur with the use of PRP injections for acute injuries such as ankle sprains and pulled hamstrings. Many studies are being conducted at this time to look at PRP injections for acute and chronic injuries.
PRP injections are a great treatment option if you are looking for a natural, conservative alternative to steroid injections, pharmaceuticals, and surgery. PRP injection treatment has received significant attention from the media and has been used by several professional athletes and dancers. This ever-growing list of elite athletes who have used PRP injections include Tiger Woods, Hines Ward, Fred Couples, Alex Rodriguez, Tracy McGrady, Chris Canty and Cliff Lee, Rafael Nadal, Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Troy Polamalu, Fred Couples, Matt Kemp, Kurt Warner, Kenyon Martin, Takashi Saito, Jayson Castro and New York City Ballet soloist, Brittany Pollack.
For more information, contact us at Olympic Foot and Ankle at 916.244.7630.