What if we could harness the human body’s healing power and magnify it?
That is precisely the goal behind the use of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) to help treat certain tendon and ligament injuries, even by famous athletes such as Tiger Woods.
In a typical Platelet-Rich Plasma treatment, doctors inject into the injury site a small amount of a patient’s own blood that has been altered to amplify its natural healing abilities.
The growth factors of the blood’s plasma cells are the critical component in the healing process, and are concentrated by doctors to create the PRP. This is done by first isolating additional plasma cells in a separate blood sample using a high-speed rotation process called centrifugation.
“We are taking your own growth factors that are associated with your platelets, then concentrating them, then reinjecting them,” explains Dr. Karen Knight with Panorama Orthopedics & Spine Center in metro Denver. “We are using people’s own healing power to address the musculoskeletal issues in that area that’s not appropriate for surgery, but doesn’t recover with just physical therapy.”
Knight attended the 3rd Annual PRP & Regenerative Medicine Symposium in Los Angeles, Calif. from July 13–14. The event drew biologics experts from around the world to learn the latest advancements in the cutting-edge field of PRP.
“That is a really important area of practice and being able to use our own healing substances in a focused treatment can be really exciting,” Dr. Knight said.
Research studies support the use of PRP for the treatment of chronic tendon injuries, particularly tennis elbow. It also can be used to help heal other tendon and ligament injuries.
At Panorama, it is a popular treatment that Dr. Knight and her colleagues regularly use to treat patients.
“There are patients who are having overall satisfaction with this treatment, and decreased pain and improved function,” Dr. Knight said.