Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)

If you’re a sports fan, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of platelet-rich plasma therapy, more commonly known simply as PRP.

Since the 1990s, some of the biggest athletes and celebrities in the world have been using this advanced treatment to recover quickly from a variety of injuries and chronic pain conditions.

But you don’t have to be a wealthy celebrity to benefit. PRP is both affordable and available to patients suffering from all kinds of painful foot or ankle conditions, including heel pain, ankle sprains, tendinitis, and more.

What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy and How Does It Work?

PRP is an advanced non-surgical procedure that concentrates the healing potential of your own blood to accelerate your body’s natural healing processes.

By volume, your blood contains about 55 percent plasma (liquid fluid) and 40 to 45 percent red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your tissues. The remainder is made up of white blood cells, which fight infections, and platelets.

You might know that platelets are important for their role in clotting blood, which helps wounds stop bleeding. But they are also packed with essential growth factors and other proteins that your body can use to fight inflammation and repair damaged tissue.

In PRP, we draw a sample of your blood, then spin it in a centrifuge in order to remove the red blood cells. The remaining platelets and plasma are recombined to create a solution with a much higher concentration of platelets by volume than normal blood.

That solution is then injected into the region of tissue that is damaged or in pain. This brings the platelets right where they are needed to accelerate the healing process.

What Conditions Can Be Treated with PRP?

PRP is a very versatile treatment option that can be included in a treatment program for almost any form of muscle, tendon, ligament, or other soft tissue injury or damage.

That includes foot and ankle conditions such as:

What Can I Expect from Treatment?

From start to finish, a single PRP session takes up to about 2 hours. This includes the prep before the blood draw all the way through a short post-injection recovery period. There may be some aching and swelling in the injury site for a few days.

Often one session is enough to lead to significant healing of the injury and improvement in symptoms. However, up to 3 sessions may be provided within a 6-month period if necessary.

Because PRP accelerates tissue healing rather than just alleviating symptoms, the relief you feel tends to be much longer-lasting than cortisone injections.

In Summary: Benefits of PRP

For those considering PRP, let’s summarize some of the primary benefits. It is:

  • Convenient. Only requires 1-3 treatment sessions of about 1-2 hours each. There is no need for hospitalization or general anesthesia, and no downtime after the procedure.
  • Safe. Since the injection is made from your own blood, there is no risk of rejection. Minor side effects such as temporary pain or mild nausea may be present.
  • Effective. We have seen excellent clinical results from use of PRP in our practice. It can also usually be combined with other treatments such as orthotics and physical therapy to yield even better results.

If you want the fastest possible recovery from an injury, or you’re struggling with chronic pain and more traditional treatments haven’t helped, PRP may be right for you.

To learn more, schedule your appointment with Dr. Anthony Spitz in Wheeling, IL by dialing (847) 465-9311 today.

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