If you’re looking for an ankle sprain treatment that is easy on your body and effective at the same time, PRP injections may be able to help. Decades of experience have allowed our team at Phoenix Regenerative Medicine in Tempe, AZ, to put our knowledge to work for you. We strive to provide treatment options that work together with your body.
How Effective Is PRP Ankle Sprain Treatment?
Speed Up Your Healing Process
PRP is an acronym for platelet-rich plasma, a natural treatment made from the regenerative abilities in your blood. Any injury to soft tissue, including sprains, can be slow to heal and hinder your ability to function. If you have a physical job or enjoy physical hobbies, using PRP as an ankle sprain treatment can help you heal faster.
PRP is basically a plasma that has a high concentration of growth factors, bioactive proteins, and platelets. When PRP is injected into an injured area, all of these different benefits help nourish and repair the injured tissue.
The Relationship Between Healing and Blood Flow
Besides having a powerhouse of nutrients being injected right to the point of injury, there’s another reason PRP can be so helpful. Injuries affecting muscles and tendons can be notoriously slow to heal, and this is partly due to a lack of blood flow.
Areas with high blood flow usually heal faster, since blood carries nutrients and oxygen that aid the healing process. In areas that don’t have as much blood flow, healing can be frustratingly slow. Instead of having to be delivered by the blood, PRP is delivered by injection, so you don’t have to wait as long for your injury to get the support from your body that it needs.
When you come in for treatment, we’ll draw some of your blood for processing. Since this treatment is made by your blood and is only for your use, the PRP has to be made new each time. After a few vials are drawn, the blood layers are separated by spinning the vials in the centrifuge machine.
During this separation process, one of the layers created is the platelet-rich plasma we’ll be using for treatment. We can now access the PRP and inject it back into your body. Sometimes imaging technology is used so we can pinpoint exactly where the injection needs to go. As a whole, you should expect each appointment to take about an hour of your time.
How many treatments you’ll need partly depends on how severe your injury is. A single injection may be enough for some cases, but other cases may benefit from a more consistent schedule. For more serious injuries, it’s common to have three treatments spaced about four weeks apart to really give your body a boost.
For patients with chronic injuries, it may be recommended that you receive maintenance treatments twice a year to keep your body on the right track.
Flexibility of Treatment
How your body responds to treatment will have an effect on how long your treatment plan may be. During a consultation, we can take a look at your injury and give you a more personalized estimate. Of course, if you find you recover faster than anticipated, you can stop treatment at any time when you’re happy with your results.
Some cases will have the best results if you stick to a strict schedule, whereas others can be more flexible and still have a good outcome. Our team will do our best to work with you and set up a timeline that we feel has the best chance of getting you back to a better level of comfort as quickly as possible.
1. How Long Has PRP Been Used?
In the 70s, PRP began to be used as a term to describe plasma that had more platelets present than is regularly found in circulating blood. Once it demonstrated its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to stimulate cell growth, PRP was quickly put to work.
It’s most commonly used for sport-related injuries, but that’s not the limit of its potential. It can also be used for chronic injuries, degenerative diseases like arthritis, during certain surgeries, and even cosmetically.
2. Is It Really Safe?
As far as treatments go, this is considered one of the safest ones out there. One of the best aspects of PRP therapy is the fact that it’s derived from your body, not from any foreign materials. During your consultation, we would be happy to answer any questions you have about PRP and what to expect.
3. How Can I Tell It’s Working?
While PRP can help improve your comfort by reducing inflammation, it doesn’t mask your symptoms. Any improvements you notice after your treatment is a good sign that the PRP is doing its job.
How quickly these results show up can vary. Your age, activity level, diet, and overall health can all play a part in how quickly you can expect to notice results. Some patients are able to feel a difference almost immediately, whereas others may need a couple of treatments before they can mark a clear improvement.
4. Is It the Same as a Cortisone Injection?
Not quite. Cortisone injections definitely have their place and can be a helpful, viable treatment option. In fact, cortisone injections and PRP injections can be used in similar ways. Both treatments can help reduce pain and inflammation.
The difference between the two comes down to purpose. PRP has anti-inflammatory properties and can help regenerate tissue. As it regenerates your tissue, your symptoms should improve as a response to your body’s healing. Cortisone injections, on the other hand, are not expected to help the body heal, it’s purpose is to keep the body comfortable.
5. What Else Can Be Treated With PRP Therapy?
PRP isn’t just used for ankle sprain treatment. The list of injuries PRP can help with is extensive. Here are a few common injuries we can help address with PRP therapy.
If you play football, basketball, or soccer, you may be at an increased risk of suffering an ACL tear. When the anterior cruciate ligament is torn, the recovery time can be long and the pain can be extreme. Even one torn ligament of the ACL can contribute to knee instability and an untreated injury may make you more likely to suffer knee arthritis later on.
Our team can use PRP injections to help you feel better and heal faster from this debilitating injury. Even if surgery is necessary for your torn ACL, PRP can still help quicken the healing process so you spend less time waiting to recover.
Ligament Sprains and Torn Muscles
PRP is well known for its ability to help heal injured muscles and ligaments. Whether you’re seeking out ankle sprain treatment, or help for a more serious injury, PRP can get to work in supporting your body’s needs.
The goal here is to not only improve the rate of your healing but to help restore a pain-free range of motion. It’s a great treatment for hobby and professional athletes alike. It may even help patients recover from an old injury, by re-starting the body’s healing efforts around it.
Repetitive Motion Injuries
Whether it’s repeated overhand throws, long games of golf, or tendonitis from typing, sometimes our modern lifestyles can be tough on our bodies. When movements are consistently repeated and not enough recovery time is given to our joints and muscles, injury can be a result. Thankfully, PRP can be an effective way to help your body heal from these injuries.
Torn Rotator Cuff
A torn rotator cuff commonly affects people who have work or hobbies that require repetitive shoulder motions. It can cause sharp pain or weakness in the shoulder. If rest and medication haven’t been enough to resolve the injury, you may be looking into surgery. That said, surgery may not be your only option.
If your rotator cuff has been torn and you want to avoid surgery, we can take a look at the extent of the injury during a consultation. You may be able to avoid surgery by relying on PRP to help repair the damage. In other cases, if it’s determined surgery is required for a full recovery, PRP can still be used together with surgery to support the process and set you up for success.
Yes, we’re back to talking about overhand throws. Overhand throwing motions can be pretty rough on your elbows. This high-stress motion, when used regularly enough, can eventually cause an overuse injury. An overuse injury is the culmination of your joint or muscle being strained consistently until it gives out.
Elbow injuries are commonly seen by pitchers and tennis players, and PRP can offer these athletes a minimally invasive treatment to help restore the function of their elbow.
Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, but one common area of concern is the knee. When the cartilage that cushions the joints of your knee begins to wear thin, you may experience the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Less cushioning means more friction, which can not only cause pain and swelling but can also interfere with your knee’s functionality. This condition can narrow the gap between your joints and may involve bone spurs as well.
Primary and Secondary Arthritis
When it comes to arthritis in your knees, you are usually either dealing with primary or secondary osteoarthritis. The primary form is most commonly seen in older patients, although the natural wear and tear of the knee can be expedited due to extensive use. While it’s common to notice some symptoms of primary arthritis when you’re in your 60s, protecting your joints and practicing safe exercise and weight management can be helpful in delaying the onset or reducing the severity.
Secondary osteoarthritis usually pops up after a specific event traumatizes the knee, but it can also be affected by inflammation, obesity, and genetic factors that may make you more susceptible to it. Exercise that strengthens the knee can be helpful in managing symptoms, but if you’re struggling with either primary or secondary arthritis in your knees, regenerative injections like PRP may help restore some functionality and improve your comfort levels.
6. Am I a Good Candidate?
When you come in for a consultation, we can go over your health and your injury to help you determine if PRP has the best shot at providing relief. Generally speaking, anyone who is able to have their blood drawn is usually a good candidate for PRP therapy.
Our Team Can Help
We treat a wide range of injuries and offer multiple treatment options to fit your needs. If you’re hoping to avoid surgery, and want an ankle sprain treatment that teams up with your body’s natural healing abilities, contact our team at Phoenix Regenerative Medicine in Tempe, AZ, today for your consultation.