Athletes and active individuals who endure chronic pain from tendon injuries or osteoarthritis may finally get relief from a safe, non-surgical procedure. It's called Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy, and it utilizes platelets from the athletes' own blood to rebuild a damaged tendon or cartilage. It has been successful in not only relieving the pain, but also in jumpstarting the healing process.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy is done in an exam room and takes less than an hour. The patient's blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge for 15 minutes to separate out the platelets. The platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the damaged portion of the tendon or cartilage with the guidance of an ultrasound machine.
Patients are put on a program of relative rest followed by physical therapy for the first 6 weeks. After about 6 to 12 weeks, patients are re-evaluated for improvement. Some patients with more difficult injuries may require more than one injection to achieve successful outcomes. The majority of PRP patients find that within 3 months they can return to most or all of the activities they were doing before the pain started.