Safety and Health Reporter
Brien Roche Law > Blog > Personal Injury > Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Platelet Rich Plasma TherapyPlatelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a new form of treatment for injury.  In particular it can be effective with different types of orthopaedic injuries.  For instance a torn rotator cuff where cortisone injections and physical therapy have not helped and the patient prefers not to have surgery then platelet rich plasma therapy is an option.  It is a treatment that uses the body’s natural healing properties to mend injuries.  The procedure involves collecting several ounces of blood from the patient’s arm, spinning the blood in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets and then injecting the concentrated platelets into the injury site to stimulate healing.  Platelets are the blood cells that promote clotting.  They contain hundreds of proteins.  Those proteins are growth factors that are important in repairing injuries.  This form of therapy works by acting like a stem cell magnet.  What it does is it releases growth factors that signal stem cells to come and help regenerate the injured area.  As a result the PRP actually creates new blood vessels that feed the injured body part with the proper nutrients it needs to heal.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Treats Orthopedic Injuries

It has been found effective in dealing with such injuries as a torn rotator cuff.  It can also deal with other types of soft tissue injuries such as tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and hamstring tears.  It can even provide relief for some forms of osteoarthritis.

In regards to such things as a rotator cuff tear, typically the first form of treatment is an ultrasound and/or an MRI in order to visualize the tear.  It then must be determined that the tear is in fact the source of the pain and weakness the patient is complaining of.  This can be accomplished by injecting an anesthetic into the tear and then running certain strength tests.  If the strength was considerably better with the anesthetic present, that tends to mean that the tear was causing the problems.

The PRP therapy can be painful and the aching can persist for more than a day simply from the injection itself.  After the injection is administered it is necessary to rest the body part and to avoid such medications as ibuprofen.  The goal is to encourage inflammation and thereby promote healing.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Is Not Covered By Insurance

At this point this form of therapy is not covered by insurance.  As such there is very little financial incentive to conduct studies because there is nothing for the Food and Drug Administration to approve or disapprove.  The centrifuges already are licensed and the procedure uses the patient’s own blood which is regarded as safe.

In looking for a physician who does this type of treatment it is necessary to find someone who does the procedure several times a day and is experienced with this form of treatment.  Typically it is felt that the injection should be done under direct visualization with ultrasound.

This is a form of treatment that although still somewhat experimental, it has been felt by many to have tremendous promise.

The evidence is conflicting as to the effectiveness of this treatment.  The volume of treatment being rendered has ballooned from $45 million in 2009 to what is expected to be $126 million by 2016. Questions however still remain as to whether or not it really works.  A study conducted by the Cochrane Collaborative, a group of independent medical experts, examined 19 different trials of this treatment and concluded that the evidence was insufficient to recommend it for musculoskeletal soft-tissue injuries.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Downsides

There is generally thought to be very little downside to the treatment other than the cost associated with it.

A study put out by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2014 concluded that platelet treatment is no better than a placebo for hamstring injuries.

The lack of uniformity as far as results from various studies may be a function of the absence of any standards of methodology for the delivery of the treatment.

Presently the treatment is used for a wide range of conditions including chronic tendon injuries, acute muscle and ligament injuries, osteoarthritis of the knee and also to speed recovery from surgery and fractures.

Most of the treatment is provided either by orthopaedic doctors or pain medicine doctors; many of whom have found the treatment not only to be successful but also quite profitable.

One physician at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC normally recommends other approaches first such as physical therapy, medication, activity modification, bracing or even steroid injections before attempting plasma treatment.

In addition there is some dispute within the profession as to what is the best mechanism for preparing the platelets, what volume should be used, the frequency of treatment and how many treatments each patient should get.

Until there is some uniformity in that regard, probably any study results on platelet treatment are going to be inconclusive.

For more information on this, see the pages on Wikipedia and see the page on orthopedics.

 

Comments are closed.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Platelet Rich Plasma TherapyPlatelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a new form of treatment for injury.  In particular it can be effective with different types of orthopaedic injuries.  For instance a torn rotator cuff where cortisone injections and physical therapy have not helped and the patient prefers not to have surgery then platelet rich plasma therapy is an option.  It is a treatment that uses the body’s natural healing properties to mend injuries.  The procedure involves collecting several ounces of blood from the patient’s arm, spinning the blood in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets and then injecting the concentrated platelets into the injury site to stimulate healing.  Platelets are the blood cells that promote clotting.  They contain hundreds of proteins.  Those proteins are growth factors that are important in repairing injuries.  This form of therapy works by acting like a stem cell magnet.  What it does is it releases growth factors that signal stem cells to come and help regenerate the injured area.  As a result the PRP actually creates new blood vessels that feed the injured body part with the proper nutrients it needs to heal.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Treats Orthopedic Injuries

It has been found effective in dealing with such injuries as a torn rotator cuff.  It can also deal with other types of soft tissue injuries such as tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and hamstring tears.  It can even provide relief for some forms of osteoarthritis.

In regards to such things as a rotator cuff tear, typically the first form of treatment is an ultrasound and/or an MRI in order to visualize the tear.  It then must be determined that the tear is in fact the source of the pain and weakness the patient is complaining of.  This can be accomplished by injecting an anesthetic into the tear and then running certain strength tests.  If the strength was considerably better with the anesthetic present, that tends to mean that the tear was causing the problems.

The PRP therapy can be painful and the aching can persist for more than a day simply from the injection itself.  After the injection is administered it is necessary to rest the body part and to avoid such medications as ibuprofen.  The goal is to encourage inflammation and thereby promote healing.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Is Not Covered By Insurance

At this point this form of therapy is not covered by insurance.  As such there is very little financial incentive to conduct studies because there is nothing for the Food and Drug Administration to approve or disapprove.  The centrifuges already are licensed and the procedure uses the patient’s own blood which is regarded as safe.

In looking for a physician who does this type of treatment it is necessary to find someone who does the procedure several times a day and is experienced with this form of treatment.  Typically it is felt that the injection should be done under direct visualization with ultrasound.

This is a form of treatment that although still somewhat experimental, it has been felt by many to have tremendous promise.

The evidence is conflicting as to the effectiveness of this treatment.  The volume of treatment being rendered has ballooned from $45 million in 2009 to what is expected to be $126 million by 2016. Questions however still remain as to whether or not it really works.  A study conducted by the Cochrane Collaborative, a group of independent medical experts, examined 19 different trials of this treatment and concluded that the evidence was insufficient to recommend it for musculoskeletal soft-tissue injuries.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Downsides

There is generally thought to be very little downside to the treatment other than the cost associated with it.

A study put out by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2014 concluded that platelet treatment is no better than a placebo for hamstring injuries.

The lack of uniformity as far as results from various studies may be a function of the absence of any standards of methodology for the delivery of the treatment.

Presently the treatment is used for a wide range of conditions including chronic tendon injuries, acute muscle and ligament injuries, osteoarthritis of the knee and also to speed recovery from surgery and fractures.

Most of the treatment is provided either by orthopaedic doctors or pain medicine doctors; many of whom have found the treatment not only to be successful but also quite profitable.

One physician at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC normally recommends other approaches first such as physical therapy, medication, activity modification, bracing or even steroid injections before attempting plasma treatment.

In addition there is some dispute within the profession as to what is the best mechanism for preparing the platelets, what volume should be used, the frequency of treatment and how many treatments each patient should get.

Until there is some uniformity in that regard, probably any study results on platelet treatment are going to be inconclusive.

For more information on this, see the pages on Wikipedia and see the page on orthopedics.

 

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation