PRP Therapy for Tendon Repair
Athletes and normal, everyday folk can develop pain and inflammation in a hand, arm, or knee when performing a repetitive task. If this is you, chances are that your medical practitioner will detect tendon injuries after running the necessary diagnostic tests. While there are several conventional methods that can help you with the discomfort, you might want to consider asking your doctor about PRP therapy for tendon repair.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is an innovative solution that tackles the injury and works to repair damaged tissue in place of simply easing the discomfort you’re feeling. Read ahead and understand everything you need to know about tendon injuries and how PRP can help.
Understanding the Structure of Tendons and What They Do
Made of water, tenocytes, and a matrix of fiber-like collagen protein, tendons are tough tissues that connect your muscles and bones. They help exert the force needed to perform movements. Several factors can cause injuries to the tendons. For instance, arthritis, infections, and side effects of certain medications.
Overusing a particular tendon by making the same movements, again and again, can also cause inflammation. These activities can include sports like tennis, football, or baseball. Or say, painting, shoveling, scrubbing, skiing, and gardening.
Various Symptoms can Indicate Tendon Injuries
When the tendons are stressed or injured, they respond by becoming swollen and painful. Movement is difficult and you might also see some amount of redness and the sensation of warmth rising from the affected area and spreading around. If you hear creaking sounds or notice that the symptoms are worse at night or when you get up in the morning, it might be time to ask about PRP therapy for tendon repair.
You might find that movement seems to help ease the stiffness but you could end up worsening the injury by not allowing the tendon to rest and heal. Most of the tendon damage conditions are in the Achilles heel, thumb, knee, elbow, shoulder, or hip.
Conventional Methods for Tendon Repair May Not be Effective
Should you consult a medical practitioner, you might receive standard recommendations like applying ice, resting the affected area, or taking medication to soothe the inflammation. However, unlike PRP therapy for tendon repair, these methods may do more damage than good. That’s because tendons typically receive a poor supply of blood. In addition, the repetitive stress causes micro tears in the tendons that heal with scar tissue. Scar tissue, in turn, is tough and does not allow blood flow.
When you soothe the inflammation and swelling, you effectively reduce the blood supply making healing more difficult. Over time, with repeated swelling and scarring, the structure of the collagen in the tendon starts to break down. That’s when you develop the condition called tendinopathy that PRP for tendon repair can help avoid. Without treatment, eventually, the tendon could rupture restricting movement even further.
Conventional Methods of Treatment Have Their Downsides
In addition to the more effective PRP therapy for tendon repair, most medical practitioners may recommend the usual treatments for damaged tendons. Take a look at what they are and why you need to be wary.
- Corticosteroid injections reduce pain and inflammation without healing the injury. They may also cause further damage by weakening the tissues.
- Since tendon injuries are caused because of repetitive movement, physical therapy can worsen the situation. Your tendons need to rest and recover.
- You could take painkillers to ease the pain so you can continue with your daily activities. However, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) can cause or worsen conditions like hypertension, cardiac problems, kidney failure, and digestive issues.
- As a last resort, your doctor may suggest cutting the tendon or surgically removing some of the scar tissue. But, there is no assurance of better mobility in the long run. For this reason, before you settle for surgery, consider trying PRP for tendon repair.
PRP Therapy for Tendon Repair can Help Ease Pain and Inflammation
PRP therapy for tendonitis can help by repairing the damaged tendons by stimulating swelling in place of soothing it. The growth factors in the PRP serum create new blood vessels in the collagen matrix of the tendons. With a fresh supply of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, they heal quickly by developing a new framework of tissues and collagen.
In addition, PRP treatments can prevent the tendon from weakening further and works to strengthen it. In case the surrounding cartilage and buffering agents are eroded, PRP therapy can regenerate the lubricating agents so that joint movement is smooth.
PRP Preparation is a Short Under-60 Minutes Procedure
The PRP treatment process typically takes around 60 minutes to complete. During PRP preparation trained lab technicians extract a 10ml to 20ml sample of blood from the patient’s forearm and place it in a sterilized test tube. After adding FDA-approved anti-clotting agents, doctors place the sample in a centrifugal device and spin it at specific speeds for a fixed number of revolutions. In response to the motion, the blood separates into different components with the red blood cells collecting at the bottom.
After carefully separating the Platelet Rich Plasma, doctors prepare it for injecting into the affected tendon. To make sure that the plasma is placed with precision and has the maximum benefits, your medical practitioner will use an ultrasound machine.
Post-Treatment, You’ll Need Rest and a Physical Therapy Protocol
After administering the injection, the doctor will advise you on how to restrict movement and rest the treatment area. You may also be asked to come in for a check-up at around 4 weeks after the procedure. Recovery may depend on various factors such as the severity of the injury, your age, and the condition of the tendon before the injury. Accordingly, you might need a follow-up session of PRP therapy for tendon repair at 4 to 6-week intervals.
Most patients talk about how they were able to return to their normal activities within 3 months of the procedure. If needed, your doctor may advise you on the progressive physical therapy protocol to follow so you recover well from the treatment.
For more information about how PRP works, contact your nearest medical practitioner. You can also contact us with your queries and we’ll get back to you soon.
Or, call us at (888) – 981- 9516.
Have you tried PRP in the past? Did it successfully resolve your tendon pain? Do you have any PRP questions? Leave a comment below and share your experiences.
Pros and Cons of Using PRP for Tendon Injuries