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PRP injections after an orthopedic procedure

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are used to treat injured tendons wherever they are (shoulder, elbow, hip, heel, and knee) but also muscle damage and arthritic joints. This therapy is a very promising technique of stimulating the healing response of damaged tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.

PRP injections in orthopedics for rapid healing

Healthcare professionals use PRP injections to reproduce and accelerate the natural healing process. When we look at an injury, we observe the accumulation of blood platelets or coagulation cells. These platelets release growth factors from the patient’s blood in the poorly vascularized, damaged areas. These substances that activate the ability to form a bruise and produce bone and blood vessels are called support cells and they play an important role in healing. This simple, rapid procedure consists in taking a blood sample from the patient to extract the plasma containing platelet concentrations 4 to 5 times higher than in normal fresh blood. This calcium-rich extract activates the platelets and is immediately injected into the damaged area. The platelets rapidly release the substances required for healing. The aim is to release numerous physiological growth factors to trigger tissue regeneration.

The advantages of choosing PRP injections

Numerous clinical trials have already proven the efficacy of platelet-rich plasma injections, whether for sprained tendons, Achilles tendon ruptures, elbow or patella tendonitis…

Patients can resume activities very rapidly and the pain disappears very quickly. However, the main advantage of platelet-rich plasma injections is that there is no risk of complications as the patient’s own blood is used and cannot, therefore, be rejected or cause any allergies. Furthermore, the risk of infection is must lower reduced due to the bacteriostatic properties of the PRP. The platelets obtained by centrifugation of the patient’s blood play a major role in the healing of wounds. The repairing action of traumatic bone, tendon-ligament, and cartilage injuries begins with the formation of a clot and the degranulation of the platelets, which release growth factors and cytokines in the injured area.

After the procedure

Following the procedure, the inflammation is controlled and the patient recovers painless movement as well as stability. After about ten minutes of rest following the PRP injection, the patient can return home alone. The week following the procedure, the patient may experience mild pain. During the checkup one month after the injection, the physician will decide if another injection is necessary. In general, 1 to 3 injections at least two weeks apart are sufficient. After the platelet-rich plasma injection, the patient will immediately notice a significant improvement in the symptoms while promoting the return to normal functioning of the tendon treated. With a procedure like this, there is no need for aggressive treatments such as long-term drug therapy or surgery.

Dr Philippe PAILLARD, MD

About the Author:

Specialist in orthopedic surgery and sports surgery, Dr. Philippe Paillard operates on patients with hip, knee, shoulder, elbow or ankle disorders or injuries.

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