PRP isn’t new, but it’s been getting a lot of mainstream attention recently. You may have heard of it because of your favorite athlete treating a problem like a tendon injury or sprained knee and getting back in the game faster than usual. But what exactly is PRP?
PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. This innovative regenerative therapy uses the powerful healing substances found in your blood to repair damage in other parts of your body.
At Tadje Orthopaedics in Meridian, Idaho, Dr. Jared Tadje relies on these injections to treat numerous orthopedic conditions. Here’s why.
Taking a closer look at your blood
Whether you cut yourself shaving or while making dinner, most of us have hurt ourselves at some point. And when the bleeding stopped, you had our platelets to thank for it. But that’s not all they do.
Most of your blood is liquid or plasma. It’s mainly water and proteins and carries tiny solid components around your body. These substances include white and red blood cells and platelets. Platelets get a lot of attention for the role they play in causing blood to clot during an injury. However, they play a much larger role in the healing process than that.
Platelets also activate the natural healing process, which releases additional chemicals — or growth factors. These vital proteins perform several roles in healing, such as stimulating cell growth, inflammation, and tissue repair.
That means that, when concentrated into a therapeutic injection, your plasma and platelets become a potent infusion that can repair damage on a cellular level.
How PRP works
PRP starts with a routine blood draw. Then, your platelets get separated from the rest of your blood cells in a centrifuge machine. This process concentrates the growth factors for your infusion, making them five to 10 times greater than normal.
After preparing your PRP infusion, Dr. Tadje injects it directly into the part of your body with damage or disease. When introduced to this tissue, the PRP activates new cell production, which accelerates remodeling and healing in the area. As new cells regenerate in the site, the healthy function returns and your pain decreases.
Dr. Tadje recommends PRP for a wide range of orthopedic conditions, including:
- Tendon, muscle, and ligament injuries
- Arthritis and joint pain
PRP can even improve the healing process after some forms of surgery, like those associated with tendon repair.
What to expect when getting PRP therapy
Dr. Tadje administers PRP injections during a routine office visit. They come with few risks, but they do involve a blood draw and injection, so you could have minor discomfort from the needles. However, you can often resume regular activity immediately without any downtime.
After getting your PRP injection, it’s common to have some mild swelling and pain at the treatment site. Don’t be alarmed, this means the healing process has begun. You should avoid taking anti-inflammatory or pain medications unless prescribed by Dr. Tadje as they can interfere with the treatment. Instead, apply a cold compress a few times each day for 10-20 minutes to address any post-injection pain and swelling.
Within a few weeks, you should start to see your symptoms subside as healthy, new cells return to the area. As the healing process advances, you’ll experience less pain and inflammation along with more stability and range of motion in the area.
Ready to see how PRP injections can heal your body? Contact Tadje Orthopaedics by calling 208-231-7851 or book an appointment online today.