Did you know that 2 million people suffer an acute sprained ankle each year in the United States? More alarming still, 58.5 million adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and this number is expected to jump to nearly 78.5 million by 2040.
And these statistics are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to musculoskeletal issues in the US population. Thankfully, science is keeping pace and finding new solutions in regenerative medicine.
Here at No Mercy Sports Medicine, Dr. Moisés Irizarry-Román offers platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections that are helpful in healing musculoskeletal injuries. In this blog, we outline four common issues that can benefit from PRP therapy.
Behind PRP therapy
With PRP therapy, we inject a solution that contains a concentrated amount of your own platelets into damaged tissues. This initiates a healing cascade.
The platelets release growth factors and cytokines that call on regenerative resources in your body. These resources not only accelerate healing, but they also help control inflammation and pain.
Musculoskeletal issues that PRP therapy can help
Here are four examples of instances in which PRP therapy excels.
1. Ankle sprains
Let’s start with one of the most common injuries — ankle sprains. These injuries can range from pesky and minor to quite serious, depending upon the extent of the ligament damage.
If the ligaments weren't damaged too badly, a bit of rest and ice is usually enough for the joint to heal. If, however, the sprain is moderate to severe, intervention is key if you want to avoid chronic ankle instability. To put some numbers to this danger, about 40% of people who sprain an ankle develop chronic symptoms.
If you have a moderate to severe ankle sprain, we can use PRP therapy to facilitate healing. In one study, researchers compared using PRP injections for lateral ankle sprains (LAS) and immobilization and found that, “PRP injection appears to be more successful in LAS in short-term follow-up and enables the patient to report less pain during his recovery period and a better functioning outcome.”
As the statistics above note, Americans are no strangers to arthritis. And today, more and more arthritis patients are turning to PRP injections to help manage joint pain and inflammation.
As an example, PRP therapy is great for osteoarthritis (OA), which is the most common form of arthritis. With OA, the cartilage in your joints breaks down and doesn’t regenerate because it has no access to regenerative resources thanks to a lack of blood vessels.
PRP therapy gets around this problem by introducing the resources directly into the damaged tissues to help your joint rebuild.
Another common musculoskeletal problem is tendonitis, which involves the connective tissues that attach muscles to bone — this tissue develops tiny tears due to overuse, which causes pain and inflammation. Having tendonitis also puts you at risk for more serious tears or complete ruptures.
With PRP therapy, we give this soft tissue the resources it needs to heal the tears and control the inflammation.
4. Post-surgical healing
PRP therapy can even help with a complete rupture of a tendon as we can administer injections after the surgical repair to speed up healing. This procedure can help your body heal more quickly after any surgery.
Whether it’s a rotator cuff injury, a meniscus tear, or a labral tear in your hip, PRP therapy works to amplify the healing cascade in your body so you can regain use of your joint more quickly, and more strongly.
If you want to explore how PRP therapy can help keep your body strong and healthy, please contact No Mercy Sports Medicine in Miami, Florida, today by calling the office at 305-614-6757.