The popularity of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy grows as the list of professional athletes who’ve undergone PRP therapy grows. And as the popularity grows, so does the number of studies on PRP’s effectiveness.
Questions, no surprise, remain.
Is there nothing PRP can’t do? Is PRP a glimpse into the future of sport’s medicine? Is it the golden standard for tendonitis? Is it ethical?
This collection of articles on PRP will answer those questions and more so you can make an informed decision if you are considering PRP therapy for your injury.
Platelet-Rich Plasma: A General Look
From academic studies to academic overviews, this collection of articles will give you a broad view of PRP therapy from a scientific standpoint.
This review addresses a variety of aspects pertaining to the use of PG. These include background on platelet activity, the pivotal role of platelets in hemostasis, soft tissue healing and bone growth, the whole blood PRP production procedure, Platelet rich plasma and platelet gel.
We have to be careful when talking about PRP because one treatment is not the same as another treatment. Procedures differ from doctor to doctor.
Platelet-rich plasma is defined as autologous blood with a concentration of platelets above baseline values. Platelet-rich plasma has been used in maxillofacial and plastic surgery since the 1990s; its use in sports medicine is growing given its potential to enhance muscle and tendon healing.
Just because PRP therapy works for tennis elbow doesn’t mean it will perform in the same way to an injury to the Achilles tendon. What we need are more nuanced studies looking at particular injuries, PRP treatment and recovery over the long haul. Those studies are starting to appear.
In sports medicine the time to recover from an ACL injury is often very long for the athlete. Thus methods have been sought to shorten the biological time required for the graft to acquire biomechanical properties similar to the original ACL. Enter PRP therapy.
Doctors at The Orthopaedic Center (TOC) in Huntsville, Alabama have begun using Platelet-Rich Plasma on patients trying to heal soft-tissue injuries while avoiding the rigors of surgery.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy and Sports Medicine
The use of PRP therapy has grown from use with injured animals like horses to the use in speeding the recovery of athletes from sports injuries. Here are the most common topics on this aspect of PRP therapy.
According to a new study in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS), early outcomes of PRP appear promising. However, larger clinical studies are still needed to determine the benefits of its use.
When Tiger Woods admitted during a long press conference that he received an experimental medical treatment to combat a sore knee, platelet rich plasma therapy finally got the attention it deserved. And since then, PRP therapy has gained a following. The question still remains: Is it effective?
If you play sports, then you are at risk for a bone fracture, which is unfortunate because this sports injury could sideline you for an entire season. Is there any way you can speed up the process and get back on the playing field sooner? Platelet-rich plasma therapy might hold the key.
It is quite possible that in the future PRP injections will become the gold standard treatment for tendonitis. This is especially true to those patients who fail to respond to conventional treatments like physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications. In fact, PRP therapy may save an athlete from the rigors of surgery and the lost time involved with recovery.
In some cases extended rest will lead to a full recovery. But often times all other therapies fail and the injury is simply resistant to a full recovery. Only once you’ve exhausted all other therapy options should you then consider platelet-rich plasma injections.
Wall Street journal article by Melinda Beck on Golfer Tiger Woods and Kenyon Martin of the Denver Nuggets who both were treated with platelet-rich plasma.
A PRP study published in late 2009 from the Rizzoli Orthopedic Institute in Bologna, Italy, found platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injected in knees with degenerative arthritis can improve knee function.
Millions of people around the world suffer from the severity of post-traumatic arthritis. Symptoms include swelling, joint instability, tenderness, severe pain, and sometimes, internal bleeding.
The Procedure Behind Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy
If you want to know exactly what happens during a PRP therapy session, check out these three resources.
If you’ve been reading my posts for long you’ve no doubt heard me talk about PRP therapy and it’s relation to sports medicine. One thing I’ve never done, however, is explain the steps behind an actual procedure. I want to take that time right now to do that.
Short video that breaks the procedure down. Part one of two part series.
Short video that breaks the procedure down. Part two of two part series.
Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy and Controversy
Part of the popularity of PRP therapy lies in the surrounding controversy. What kind of controversy? The following four articles will help you understand.
The controversy centers on the lack of systematic studies on a treatment that continues to rise in use and application. That popularity is fed by what’s called the Orthopedic Triad: a famous athlete treated by a famous doctor with a suspect treatment.
Anytime a new treatment is used–and it’s extremely successful–people are suspicious and want to know if it’s legal. In fact, one of the most asked questions that I receive is this: “Is platelet rich plasma blood doping?” The short answer is no, it’s not blood doping. Let me explain.
You don’t need to look very far to find a mountain of good data on the positive effects of platelet-rich plasma [PRP] therapy on animals. The studies and the science is there. Human data, on the other hand, is more limited.
you have to understand this: PRP therapy is not a silver bullet. There can be side effects, and some significant. Here are the most common.
Dr. Rick Lehman is a distinguished orthopedic surgeon in St. Louis, Missouri and an articular cartilage reconstruction pioneer. He owns U. S. Sports Medicine in Kirkwood, MO, and LehmanHealth. Learn more about Dr. Rick.