Platelet Rich Plasma injections (PRP Therapy) are very popular treatments here in Scottsdale, AZ. As a trendsetting city, the field of regenerative medicine has emerged as the leading edge in healthcare and PRP injections are a key piece of this. Composed of key growth factors found in platelets, PRP therapy treats soft tissue injuries such as tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. Celebrity stars, top athletes, and weekend warriors have experienced amazing results with PRP therapy.
Platelets are well known for their ability to stop bleeding, but they are also responsible for much more. When platelets reach an injury, they release Growth Factors. These growth factors are small proteins that direct the healing process. PDGF, VEGF, and TGF-B are a few of the very important signals that wake up stem cells, increase tissue proliferation, blood vessel formation and alert the immune system to the area.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy contains 5-10 times as many growth factors than whole blood. It is a purified and concentrated solution of platelets that supercharges the healing process. It is especially helpful for the areas of low blood flow and degenerative spaces.
Imagine a construction site without a general contractor: lots of different trades without clear direction. That’s what platelets do! They coordinate the other cells, including stem cells where to go and what to do.
Research studies have revealed the concentration of growth factors in PRP therapy has the potential to change the environment of a diseased joint into a healing environment. By enhancing the process of healing, especially in areas where there is little to no blood flow, the tissue that has chronic degenerative changes like osteoarthritis can begin to regenerate. PRP can be injected into and around joints, tendons, scars, and more.
Platelet therapy can also be utilized to accelerate healing post-surgery for certain injuries and procedures. For example, an athlete who has a completely torn Achilles tendon will require surgery to repair it. The healing of the Achilles tendon can be improved with PRP injection therapy immediately after surgery.
At your treatment visit, we first draw a small amount of blood from your arm. Then, we then spin the whole blood in a centrifuge to separate it into its constituents. The constituents represent the red blood cells, white blood cells, and the plasma. The plasma goes through a second spin to separate and concentrate the platelets and the PRP is finished.
The PRP injections solution can be mixed with local anesthetic. It would then be injected directly into the inflamed tissue under ultrasound guidance. It’s important to understand that the pain associated with the injured area could increase the first few days after treatment. This is normal. It could be a few weeks before you feel relief from the pain and often require more than one treatment.
Chronic Tendon Injuries
Recent research studies show that PRP therapy is highly effective in treating chronic tendon injuries, and in particular rotator cuff tendinitis. The use of the PRP procedure for other tendon injuries i.e. patellar tendonitis of the knee, and chronic Achilles tendonitis continues to show impressive results.
Acute Ligament and Muscle Injuries
PRP as a regenerative injection therapy has grown in scope due to famous celebrities receiving PRP treatment for acute sports injuries. This includes muscle tears and ligament injuries.
PRP injections are being used to treat high profile athletes with sports injuries such as a pulled muscle, a pulled hamstring or knee sprains. PRP therapy accelerates and improves the healing process in these common sports injuries.
Once injected into the damaged area, the wound healing process begins. Patients can expect to have progressive improvement of the injury back to health in as little as 6 weeks. Typically 2-3 treatments are required to start seeing regenerative improvements. Repeated treatments are usually necessary with more severe conditions.
Absolutely! PRP contains more than 20 different types of growth factors. Most significant are TGF-B1, PDGF, and VEGF that promote the growth of hair follicles and activate the dermal papilla (location of hair stem cells).
Once injected into the scalp, the growth factors are released from the platelets and get to work within hours. It is important to leave the scalp alone to keep the growth factors in the area treated. In addition, anti-inflammatory medications should be avoided for at least 3 days after the procedure.
We have about 100,000 hairs on our head and with normal shedding, we lose about 100 hairs every day. If you are having more shedding than normal, this can indicate an array of medical concerns. Most people tend to lose about 25% of the hair on our heads before we even notice there is a problem.
This is a very slow and gradual process. Before going directly to PRP treatment for hair, a thorough analysis of your health history must be obtained.
For best results, a series of 3 treatments 4-6 weeks apart are done and follow up treatments for maintenance are 3-6 months apart depending on your individual results and how much hair loss you originally had.
During your initial discovery session, we’ll listen to your concerns and make sure we are a great fit to help you. We’ll review any recent imaging, labs or other pertinent information. But most importantly, we’ll listen.