While not all insurance companies will cover platelet-rich plasma, many professional athletes who have their choice of treatment have chosen to receive platelet-rich plasma; including Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Stephen Curry, D’Angelo Russell, Garrett Richards and Travis d’Arnaud. This therapy has been shown to cut downtime for professional athletes by up to 50 percent without having to undergo surgery.
The blood in your body contains platelets, a component of the blood that reacts to bleeding from blood vessel injuries. Platelets play a role in your immune system as they initiate and participate in multiple inflammatory response processes. With platelet-rich plasma, some of your own blood is drawn out of your body and run through a machine to separate the platelets from the rest of the blood. Then, the platelets are injected into the affected area, helping your body heal itself at a faster rate without undergoing surgery. Other times, the platelets are given after surgery to encourage the affected area to heal faster.
There are many different conditions that platelet-rich plasma can be used to treat. Only your doctor can determine if you’re a candidate for this treatment. Generally, the ideal patient for this treatment has a relatively new chronic musculoskeletal condition that would normally require heavy steroid use or surgery.
There are many chronic health issues that may respond to platelet-rich plasma. It is often very effective in treating chronic tendon issues, like tennis elbow, Achilles tendonitis, jumper’s knee, and pulled hamstring muscles. Research also suggests that platelet-rich plasma may be effective in helping people with arthritic knees
This treatment usually works best when combined with physical therapy and may require the use of durable medical equipment for a while. Platelet-rich plasma is not a drug, it is designed to help the body heal itself more rapidly.
To date, there are no studies that have reliably documented any adverse effects of Platelet-Rich Plasma in patients. However, a 2019 study by Health Canada concluded that risks are posed by such therapy. These risks include cross-contamination from improperly sterilized equipment or potentially dangerous immune reactions. Make sure to talk to the Central Florida Bone and Joint Institute for reliable assistance.
Like all medical techniques, platelet-rich plasma may not help all patients. One of the reasons that it could be ineffective is if the patient returns to pre-injury levels of physical activity too soon. Other patients do not carry through with rehabilitation therapy after treatment inhibiting the body from healing itself properly.
While platelet-rich plasma is very effective in treating many types of sports injuries, it cannot be combined with steroid use. Steroids are often administered for these injuries in emergency rooms. The steroids kill the growth factor of the plasma rendering the therapy ineffective.