If you have a musculoskeletal condition like osteoarthritis or a sports or other traumatic injury to your soft tissue, bones, or joints, you’re seeking relief from pain, swelling, stiffness, loss of mobility, and other symptoms. The physicians at Urgently Ortho in Scottsdale, Arizona, stay abreast of the latest medical advances and treatments for musculoskeletal diseases and injuries. One of those is platelet-rich plasma, or PRP.
In the past, you would have been offered a number of standard treatments such as medication, physical therapy, ice and/or heat, and attention to your weight and nutrition. If they didn’t work, surgery might have been recommended.
Physical therapy could go on for weeks or months. Medication is a temporary stopgap that doesn’t address the cause of your pain. You can’t ice your painful joint all the time.
All of those treatments help, but there’s a more recent advance in the treatment of many musculoskeletal conditions and injuries that is likely to help you heal faster: platelet-rich plasma, or PRP.
PRP is a type of regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine is the new frontier in orthopedic practice. Regenerative medicine treatments are engineered to help your body heal itself and create new, healthy tissue where you have damaged or diseased tissue. It may help delay or even prevent the need for surgery in some patients.
A substantial body of research has been done in the past decade on the effectiveness of PRP. The jury is still out, but the research is very promising for several types of musculoskeletal conditions, and many, but not all, patients have found relief with PRP. That’s why our board-certified physicians — our orthopedic surgeon, pain management specialist, and regenerative medicine specialist — have chosen to treat some of our patients with PRP, based on its efficacy in recent research for specific diagnoses.
Platelet-rich plasma is your own blood that’s been reconfigured so that blood platelets, cells that have healing powers as well as clotting factors, are highly concentrated. That concentrated mass of platelets is platelet-rich plasma.
Research and clinical evidence show that platelets have a role in modifying inflammation and growth of new tissue. Growth factors in the platelets and cytokines, proteins that help your immune system work to calm the inflammation, are key players in helping your body heal itself. They help new blood vessels move into damaged tissue, restore it, and even transform mesenchymal stem cells into specific kinds of cells, depending on where the injury is located.
Your physician or our physician assistant draws one or more vials of your blood from your arm. Your blood goes into a machine called a centrifuge, which spins it very rapidly for about 15 minutes. The centrifuge action helps concentrate your blood platelets in a large mass. Our staff then prepares that part of your plasma to be injected.
Your physician uses ultrasound to help locate the specific problem area, whether it’s a tendon, muscle, ligament, or a joint. She injects the PRP at the site of your pain. The injection also contains a numbing agent to ease any discomfort.
PRP may help alleviate the painful symptoms of the following musculoskeletal conditions:
Many patients find relief, but some do not. Your physician discusses all of your options for treatment and makes a recommendation on which ones she thinks will work best for your condition and diagnosis.
Call or message Urgently Ortho and make an appointment today if you’re suffering from musculoskeletal pain. We’re your partners in your musculoskeletal health.