At Shoreline Orthopaedics, our orthopaedic surgeons use a truly collaborative approach so our patients have the benefit of multiple expert opinions, without having to go elsewhere to obtain them.
Shoreline Orthopaedics provides more comprehensive services, state-of-the-art options, technologies and techniques than anyone else in the area.
The following information is provided to help you understand what you can expect from us regarding policies and procedures, and also what is expected of you before and after treatment or procedures.
The following information is provided to help you gain a better understanding of anatomy, terminology, certain orthopaedic procedures, and more. If you have any questions, feel free to ask your physician.
Although blood is mainly a liquid (plasma), it also contains small, solid components (red cells, white cells, and platelets.) Platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood, however, they also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors which are very important in the healing of injuries.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is plasma that contains many more platelets than are typically found in blood. This high concentration of platelets means that the concentration of growth factors can be 5 to 10 times greater, or richer, than usual. Although laboratory studies have shown that the increased concentration of growth factors in PRP can potentially speed up the healing process, researchers are not clear on how PRP may actually work.
During recent years, PRP has received extensive publicity regarding its potential effectiveness in treating injuries. Famous athletes including Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Hines Ward and others have received PRP for various problems such as sprained knees and chronic tendon injuries—conditions that have typically been treated successfully with medications, physical therapy or surgery. While some athletes have credited PRP treatments with allowing them to return to competition more quickly, research is ongoing and results regarding effectiveness remain inconclusive.
An injury site can be treated with a PRP preparation in the following ways:
Treatment with PRP could hold promise, and research is underway to evaluate this therapy. Currently, however, studies to back up recent media claims are lacking. Results remain inconclusive, in part, because effectiveness can be influenced by a variety of factors, including: area of the body being treated, patient health, and whether the injury is acute (as from a fall) or chronic (developed over a period of time).
Although PRP does appear to be effective in the treatment of chronic tendon injuries about the elbow, the medical community needs more scientific evidence before it can determine whether PRP therapy is truly effective in other conditions.
Although the success of PRP therapy is still questionable, the risks associated with it are minimal. There may be increased pain at the injection site, but the incidence of infection, tissue damage, nerve injuries, or other problems, appears to be no different from that associated with cortisone injections.
If you are considering PRP therapy, be sure to check your eligibility with your health insurance carrier. Currently, few insurance plans, including workers' compensation plans, provide even partial reimbursement for this treatment.
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