Are you struggling with chronic pain that just won’t seem to go away, no matter what you try? Morning heel pain as long back you can remember? An ankle that just hasn’t felt the same after an injury months ago? It might be time to start thinking about a new treatment approach. One of the best options we have for these kinds of chronic soft tissue injuries is called platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP.
PRP was first used in a clinical setting in the late 80s and gained popularity during the 90s, after several high-profile professional athletes underwent the procedure. But what is it, exactly? And how can it help you?
To start, let’s consider your blood. Your bloodstream contains fluid (called plasma), red blood cells to carry oxygen, white blood cells to fight disease, and platelets. What are platelets? They are best known as the particles responsible for clotting damaged blood vessels to stop bleeding, but that isn’t their only function. Platelets contain many growth factors and cell signaling proteins that are extremely important for injury healing, tissue repair, and immune system response.
In PRP therapy, we draw a small sample of your blood and spin it in a centrifuge, in order to separate out the components. Red blood cells are removed from the plasma, leaving a much denser concentration of platelets than in regular blood. That blood is then injected into your tissues where the pain is located, and the newly platelet-rich blood mixture gets to work healing the injury.
PRP has shown to be quite effective for a wide range of painful chronic conditions, from plantar fasciitis to tendinitis and even arthritis. Compared to cortisone injections, which provide only temporary symptom relief, PRP injections actually treat the cause and source of the pain. And because it’s your own blood and tissue, your body won’t reject it.
If your chronic pain just won’t go away, PRP may be the non-surgical answer you’re looking for. To set up an appointment with Gulf South Foot & Ankle at our Metairie office, give us a call (504) 708-4810. Closer to Covington? No problem, we’re there too at (985) 809-1464.