Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

Athletes who endure chronic pain from tendon injuries can finally get relief from a safe, non-surgical procedure. It's called Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy, and it utilizes platelets from the athletes' own blood to rebuild a damaged tendon. It has been successful in not only relieving the pain, but also in jumpstarting the healing process.

The Problem

Tendons are the rope-like structures that connect muscle to bone, enabling the bone to move. When a tendon is first injured, it can become inflamed, swollen and painful. This injury is often experienced by athletes in tennis, baseball, football, and any other sport that requires repetitive throwing motions.

However, most chronic tendon pain lacks significant inflammation as the tissue itself begins to break down. This is why traditional treatments like rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications do not often provide long-lasting relief.  For years, the last resort was a surgeon trying to cut away the damaged tendon, with very mixed success.

PRP Therapy: The Solution

Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) was recently introduced to the Emory Sports Medicine arsenal. The procedure is done in an exam room and takes less than an hour. The patient's blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge for 15 minutes to separate out the platelets. The layer of platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the diseased portion of the tendon with the guidance of an ultrasound machine.

Recovery

Patients are put on a program of relative rest followed by physical therapy for the first 6 weeks. After about 6 to 12 weeks, patients are re-evaluated for improvement. Some patients with more difficult injuries may take more than one treatment to achieve successful outcomes.

Does It Really Work?

The majority of PRP patients find that within 3 months they can return to most or all of the activities they were doing before the pain started.

PRP Therapy Video

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