How Does PRP Therapy Work?
To prepare PRP, a small amount of blood is taken from the patient. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins and through a multi-functional process separates the plasma from the blood producing the PRP. This increases the concentration of platelets and growth factors up to 500% also increasing hMSC (human stem cells) proliferation as a function of 8-day exposure to platelet released concentrations 10x. (x= increase above native levels)
When PRP is injected into the damaged area it stimulates the tendon or ligament causing mild inflammation that triggers the healing cascade. As a result, new collagen begins to develop. As this collagen matures it begins to shrink causing the tightening and strengthening of the tendons and ligaments of the damaged area.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma?
Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP is blood plasma with concentrated platelets. The concentrated platelets found in PRP include growth factors among the huge reservoirs of bioactive proteins that are vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. These bioactive proteins increase stem cell production to initiate connective tissue healing, bone regeneration and repair, promote development of new blood vessels and stimulate the wound healing process.
PRP Regenerates Tendons & Ligaments
Tendons connect the muscle to the bone making it possible for you to do many everyday physical activities. Overuse or damage to the tendon over a long period of time causes the collagen fibers in the tendons to form small tears, a condition called tendonitis. Damage to tendons most often occurs in the knees, ankles, hips, spine, elbows, shoulders, and wrists.
Ligaments are composed of collagen fibers that hold one bone to another, stabilizing the joint and controlling the range of motion. When a ligament is damaged, it is no longer able to support the bones in the joint, which often leads to pain symptoms. The instability causing the pain in your joints does not always show up on high tech imaging equipment. Through a thorough neurological and orthopedic evaluation Dr. Elbaz can determine which ligaments and tendons are unstable due to injury, wear or tear.
Tendons and ligaments have a poor blood supply and they do not usually heal from damage. Combined with the stress of day-to-day activities tendons and ligaments become inefficient causing degeneration of the joint which leads to chronic pain and weakness. Patients who experience chronic pain may not even remember when the injury occurred.
How Does PRP Compare with Cortisone Shots?
Studies have shown that cortisone injections may weaken tissue. Cortisone shots may provide temporary relief and stop inflammation, but may not provide long term healing. PRP therapy is healing and strengthening these tendons and ligaments and in some cases thickening the tissue up to 40%.
PRP injections with guided ultrasound can be performed on tendons and ligaments all over the body. Cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, degenerative disc disease, arthritic joints shoulder pain, hip pain, and knee pain, even the smaller joints of the body can all be treated effectively with PRP. Dr. Elbaz will determine whether prolo solution, Platelet Rich Plasma or a combination of both will be the most effective form of treatment for you during his initial consult and evaluation.
Frequency of Treatments
While responses to treatment vary, most people will require 3 to 6 sets of injections of PRP. Each set of treatments is spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart.
Is PRP Right for Me?
If you have degenerative spine or joint disease, a tendon or ligament injury, laxity or tear and traditional methods have not provided relief then PRP therapy may be the solution. It will heal tissue with minimal or no scarring and alleviates further degeneration and builds new tissues. There will be an initial evaluation with Dr. Elbaz to see if PRP therapy is right for you.
What Can Be Treated?
Platelet Rich Plasma injections helps regenerate all areas of the body including the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles as well as tendons and ligaments all over the body. Dr. Elbaz is one of the few physicians performing PRP procedures to all areas of the spine. Our clinic treats patients with sports injuries, arthritic and degenerative joints and degenerative disc disease. More specific injuries including tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, scoliosis, ACL tears, shin splints, rotator cuff tears, plantar fasciitis and iliotibial band syndrome may all be effectively treated with PRP.
What Are the Potential Benefits?
Patients can see a significant improvement in symptoms as well as a remarkable return of function. This may eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments such as long-term medication or surgery.
You are restricted from the use of non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) one week prior to the procedure and throughout the course of treatments.
Initially the procedure may cause some localized soreness and discomfort. Most patients only require some extra-strength Tylenol to help with the pain. Ice and heat may be applied to the area as needed.
How Soon Can I Go Back Regular Activities?
PRP therapy helps regenerate tendons and ligaments but it is not a quick fix. This therapy is stimulating the growth of new tissue requiring time and rehabilitation. Under Dr. Elbaz’s supervision patients will begin an exercise program immediately following the first procedure. During the treatment program, most people can resume normal activities and exercise.