What is platelet-rich plasma?
At St. Luke’s Medical Center, Phoenix-area sports medicine physicians are able to offer several advanced therapies for common sports injuries, such as sprains, strains, tendinitis, ligament/tendon/muscle tears, and more. One of these innovative therapies is platelet-rich plasma injections – also known as PRP injections.
“Platelet-rich plasma” is what is left when a blood draw is placed into a centrifuge that separates platelets and plasma from red blood cells. This mixture of the patient’s own platelets and plasma can be injected back into the body to promote healing.
How do PRP injections work?
PRP injections contain blood platelets, which are integral to the body’s healing process, performing essential blood clotting functions. However, researchers have found that blood platelets do much more. They also release “platelet-derived growth factors,” or PDGFs. These PDGF cells regulate cell growth and division and stimulate extracellular matrix growth. In short, PRP injections put the body on the self-repair fast track.
What can PRP injections be used for?
PRP injections have many uses. Your Phoenix sports medicine physician at St. Luke’s Medical Center may recommend platelet-rich plasma injections for any of the following injuries:
- Muscle injuries (biceps, triceps, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves)
- Ligament injuries (sprains and strains and MCL/LCL injuries in the knee)
- Tendon injuries (rotator cuff, patellar tendinitis, tennis and golfer’s elbow,Achilles tendinitis, quad tendons)
- Cartilage injuries and degenerative conditions, such as osteoarthritis.
- Plantar fasciitis, stress fractures, shin splints, turf toe, knee pain
Other conditions may be treatable with platelet-rich plasma injections. Call 1-877-351-WELL to find a sports medicine physician in Phoenix, AZ.
How often will I need PRP injections?
Platelet-rich plasma injections are typically administered in a series. Six to eight weeks after the initial injection, your sports medicine physician at St. Luke’s Medical Center may ask you to return for a follow-up evaluation. Depending on your progress, you may receive additional injections. PRP injections are typically given in at least eight to 12 week-long intervals.
What are the benefits of regenerative medicine?
Many patients and physicians alike are attracted to platelet-rich plasma therapy as an alternative to surgery or steroid injections. Potential benefits of PRP therapy include:
- Drug-free. Your body’s own growth factors provide the healing.
- Scar-free. PRP injections leave no scars.
- Cost effective. PRP injections are usually more affordable than surgery and other therapies.
- Safe. PRP therapy is a very safe procedure with few risks and complications.
- Fast recovery. Many patients are moving the injured joint or muscle the next day. Inflammation typically subsides in less than two weeks. Signs of significant improvement may be evident in four to eight weeks.
Find Out If Regenerative Medicine Is Right for You. Call Today.
Would you like to learn more about the use of regenerative medicine at St. Luke’s Medical Center? Call 1-877-351-WELL to schedule an appointment with a Phoenix sports medicine physician. This innovative therapy – and others – may be available to you!