Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) takes advantage of one of your body’s primary healing agents — platelets — which are extracted, concentrated, then injected to trigger healing. Brandon Downs, MD, and the team at Orthopaedic Specialists have extensive experience producing PRP in the office, then immediately injecting it at the site of injured tissues. As PRP injections accelerate healing, many patients can avoid more invasive treatments such as surgery. To learn more about PRP injections, call one of the offices in Fairview, Nashville, Dickson, or Ashland City, Tennessee, or schedule an appointment online.
Platelets, which are naturally found in your blood, contain proteins called growth factors. Any time tissues are damaged, platelets naturally go to the injury and release growth factors, which start the healing process.
Growth factors stimulate healing by:
Growth factors, combined with your body’s natural stem cells, rebuild all the tissues needed to heal your injury, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and blood vessels.
The team at Orthopaedic Specialists may use PRP injections to treat degenerative diseases and a wide range of orthopedic injuries, including:
Your provider at Orthopaedic Specialists may recommend PRP for injuries that are slow to heal or when the damaged tissues have a poor blood supply. In many cases, PRP injections help patients avoid surgery and help patients regain optimal strength and function.
PRP is made from your own blood, so the first step is to draw a blood sample. Then your sample is placed in a centrifuge that spins the blood, separating the platelets and increasing their concentration by up to 500%.
Dr. Downs injects your PRP at the site of your damaged tissues, using ultrasound imaging to guide the injection and precisely deliver the PRP. As the platelets release growth factors, they trigger the healing cascade that repairs the damaged tissues.
After your injection, you may feel more pain as the healing process begins. With each passing day, your pain decreases and your ability to use the damaged area increases. Over the next 2-6 weeks, you should notice a gradual improvement in strength and mobility.
During your recovery, the team at Orthopaedic Specialists continues to work with you, developing an exercise and rehabilitation program to strengthen your soft tissues and restore mobility.
Each person’s response to PRP is different, but most patients experience a significant improvement after one injection. In severe cases, additional injections spaced 6-12 weeks apart may be needed to ensure healing.
If you have a painful injury or osteoarthritis and you’d like to learn more about PRP injections, call Orthopaedic Specialists or schedule an appointment online.