Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has become an increasingly popular treatment in the field of sports medicine. Over the course of the past several years, there has been extensive research and documentation regarding the use of platelet-rich plasma and its efficacy in the treatment of sports-related injuries such as ACL tears (anterior cruciate ligament). And although PRP therapy continues to receive an enormous amount of publicity, there are still ongoing questions about the process.
What Exactly is PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma is a medical term which describes the blood products that contain an increased level of platelets. These platelets contain specific growth factors. When they are injected into injured tissue or non-healing ACL injuries, it accelerates the body’s own healing process.
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How Does Platelet-Rich Plasma Heal an ACL Injury?
When an ACL injury is sustained, the body’s first response is to deliver platelet cells to the soft tissues in the area injury. Platelet-rich plasma’s natural healing properties intensify the body’s efforts by delivering a higher level of concentrated platelets to the ACL joint.
Platelets play a vital role in the clotting of blood and healing of injuries. Recovery begins with clot formation. Both of these processes release necessary growth factors needed for healing. After the ACL is injected with platelet-rich plasma, specific proteins are released that have a direct and indirect impact on all aspect of the healing process.
What to Expect During the Procedure
During the procedure, a blood sample is taken from the patient under sterile conditions. This specimen is then placed into a centrifuge and spun. This process helps to separate the plasma from the blood cells, and permits the platelets to become increasingly more concentrated. The entire centrifuge process takes only about 15 minutes.
The separated platelet-rich plasma is then ready for injection into the patient’s affected ACL joint. This is performed under sterile technique using ultrasound or MRI guidance. Because the patient’s own blood is used for the procedure, there is no risk of transmissible infections. PRP injections are performed in the doctor’s office. In addition, patients aren’t required to undergo anesthesia.
What to Expect After the Procedure
Risks associated with the procedure minimal. Patients may experience pain and slight bruising at the injection site, but the risk for problems such as nerve injury, infection and tissue damage appear to be no higher than those associated with receiving a cortisone injection. In addition, many people choose to return to work the same day.
Before Surgery Consider PRP Therapy For ACL Injury Repair
Ongoing research and clinical trials have proven that PRP therapy is effective in relieving pain and helping patients return to active lifestyles. By treating the injured tissues, the need for surgical intervention can be dramatically reduced or even eliminated completely before permanent damage progresses.
Suffering from acute or chronic knee pain is no laughing matter. Our highly qualified physicians will accurately diagnosis your knee pain and determine if PRP treatment is the best treatment option for you. Call (561)922-9967 to learn more about PRP injections for ACL repair offered at LifeBoost.