At Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists, we are experts in many different forms of treatment, all with the goal of providing care that best serves the needs of each individual patient.
When it comes to Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy, that best form of treatment may come from within the patients themselves! PRP is an innovative technique that uses a patient’s own blood to accelerate healing and recovery.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy?
PRP therapy is a form of regenerative medicine, meaning that it harnesses the body’s natural biological functions to promote growth, healing, and other benefits. No synthetic drugs or substances are introduced in the process.
In this case, your plasma is the star of the show. This is the clear part of your blood that contains red and white blood cells, platelets, and other small elements such as growth factors.
For PRP therapy, we draw several small vials of blood, then separate it into different parts using a centrifuge. We then take the plasma, now concentrated with platelets, proteins, and growth factors, add natural elements such as thrombin and calcium chloride to further activate the platelets, and then inject the compound precisely into the site of damaged tissue.
Having a higher concentration of the substances your cells need for repair can stimulate them to complete these tasks faster and more efficiently. The typical benefits of PRP can include:
- Accelerated recovery
- A faster return to activities
- Reduction in inflammation
- Reduction in pain
What Types of Conditions can PRP Therapy Treat?
PRP injections may be recommended for a wide variety of circumstances – particularly those that involve soft tissue or joint damage.
Conditions for which we might consider PRP include (but are not limited to):
- Sports injuries
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tendon injuries
- Muscle injuries
- Post-operative recovery
In some cases, PRP injections or other forms of regenerative medicine can jumpstart recovery when more traditional forms of treatment may not. It can even delay or prevent a need for surgical intervention.
Whether or not PRP is a valid consideration for you will largely depend on the circumstances surrounding your case and your specific needs as a patient. If more traditional methods of treatment should be suitable, for example, we may recommend them first.
What Should I Expect From PRP Therapy?
There will likely be no preparations you need to make before your injection.
Since the injection is created from your own blood, the risk of having any significant negative reaction to the therapy is extremely low. In most cases, however, we will recommend that you rest for the next few days as best as possible, to allow your body every advantage and opportunity for recovery.
Additional treatments might be recommended to aid in recovery or avoid future problems. We might suggest temporary use of boots or braces, custom orthotics, or conditioning stretches and exercises, among others.