When a patient requests a non-surgical treatment, Iowa Ortho surgeons have been offering a type of treatment called Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP). Combining advanced technology with the body’s ability to heal itself, this method of therapy utilizes a high concentration of the platelet component of the blood to release growth factors to promote healing. PRP Therapy can be used to treat a wide spread of orthopedic conditions, including tennis elbow and osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder and hip. It was thought that PRP Therapy could be effective in the treatment of rotator cuff tears and ACL injuries; however, at this time, research studies indicate that there appears to be little or no benefit from using the therapy in these instances.
Research studies and clinical practice have proven PRP Therapy to be successful in helping alleviate pain and returning patients to their everyday life. Depending on the type of injury, initial improvement may be seen within a couple of days to a few months.
PRP Therapy can greatly reduce the need for surgery if injuries are treated before the tissue damage is irreversible. Risks associated with this type of therapy are minimal and are comparable to that of cortisone injections.
How does PRP therapy work?
- A small sample of the patient’s blood is drawn.
- The platelets are separated from other components of the blood with a centrifuge.
- The platelets are injected into the injured area.
- Most patients are able to return to work or school right after the treatment is complete.
- Depending on the type of injury, initial improvement may be seen within a couple of days to a few months.