Understanding the Power of Platelets in Healing

Traditional orthopedic practice is undergoing a transformation. A medical treatment long used to speed wound healing after surgery called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) now can speed healing to orthopedic injuries and conditions such as arthritis. PRP gives physicians another tool in their arsenal to combat muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries as well as ease joint pain from arthritis. 

Are you an athlete who’s been sidelined with chronic tendonitis? Perhaps you suffer from knee arthritis from normal wear and tear or a previous injury. You’re seeking treatment that has you back on the field or back to normal daily activity as soon as possible.  

San Diego Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center, Inc. is at the forefront of orthopedic practice. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons treat patients with PRP to help them recover from injuries weeks faster than they might with only traditional treatment. We also help patients whose joint pain or arthritis hasn’t been controlled with medication or steroid shots.

What is platelet-rich plasma, and why are platelets important?

PRP is a modified form of your own blood; it’s an all-natural treatment. The plasma in your blood is the liquid that moves nutrients to where they’re needed in your body. Plasma contains platelets. 

Platelets are small, specialized blood cells from bone marrow. They travel to the site of a wound, injury, or inflammation to stop the bleeding; they help your blood to clot when a wound bleeds. 

Platelets emit proteins and substances called growth factors that help tissue repair and regeneration. The platelets are responsible for beginning the healing process in your body. They’re a critical part of your immune response. 

Platelet-rich plasma is formed by drawing a blood sample from you and spinning the blood in a machine called a centrifuge. The machine gathers a large group of platelets close together, and this mixture is the platelet-rich plasma that your physician injects into the site of your pain. PRP concentrates the platelets so that up to 10 times more of them are present in PRP than in your regular blood supply. 

Your body’s reaction after PRP treatment

As PRP travels into your body, it acts like a turbocharged engine that produces extra power. In this case, it increases the blood supply to your damaged tissue and begins to produce new, healthy cell growth. 

Growth factors, oxygen, and other nutrients rush to your damaged tissue to begin the healing process. New collagen growth occurs to form strong new muscle, tendon, or ligament tissue.   

PRP helps not only to reduce pain; it also reduces the chance of infection and reduces scarring at the site of the injury.  

For state-of-the-art orthopedic treatment, call our office in San Diego or request an appointment through our online portal today.

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