Sprained ligaments and damaged tendons are common injuries with athletes and anyone who performs extensive physical activities. These injuries usually occur in the knee and elbow joints, and they can take a very long time to heal. Most doctors will recommend a customized physical therapy program to aid in the healing process. Evidence now suggests that PRP injections (platelet-rich plasma) can help speed up the healing of damaged ligaments.
Ligament sprains hurt a lot because the body sends blood to the affected area. This causes the swelling and also a lack of ability for the individual to move the joint properly. Once this initial discomfort subsides, injections of PRP can accelerate the next stage of healing, and it’s because of the concentrated amount of blood platelets in the injectable gel.
What Is PRP?
Your blood contains red cells, white cells, plasma, and platelets. Platelets help stop bleeding by forming clots. These clots become the first means of tissue healing because the platelets contain a multitude of growth factors.
If a concentrated amount of platelets are injected into an area of damaged tissue, the healing of these tissues accelerates because the growth factors in the platelets act as signaling messengers to activate nutrient distribution. This means that the ligament, tendon, or joint tissue will heal faster.
Consultation and Treatment
We will draw some blood from your arm and place it in a special container. We spin this container in a centrifuge at a prescribed speed. This separates the platelets and some of the plasma from the red cells. We then spin the plasma again to achieve a very high concentration of platelets.
This resulting plasma mix is made into a thin gel, and a chloride solution is added to activate the platelets. We then inject the PRP mix using a thin needle. The mix is injected right into the affected tissues or ligaments.
This process takes only about an hour to complete. Because we can only draw a small amount of blood every two weeks or so, it takes several treatment sessions to finish the PRP injections process.
After the last treatment session of PRP injections, the ligament sprain or tissue damage is healing at a faster rate. We may still suggest certain physical therapy exercises, and we will coordinate with your primary physician or physical therapist to help you develop a daily regimen.
If you’ve ever suffered a ligament injury or tendon damage, you know how slow the healing process is. We can help speed up the recovery period. Talk to the team at Phoenix Regenerative Medicine in Tempe, AZ today about the possibilities with PRP injections for ligament damage and sprains. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!