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Protein-rich platelets may help with chronic pain relief

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Elbow pain

If you have arthritis in the knee or other chronic pain, regenerative medicine may be an option for easing pain and improving function -- without surgery.

One type of regenerative medicine, known as platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, uses a patient’s blood platelets to generate a natural healing response in the body.

According to Dr. Ryan Woods, a fellowship-trained non-operative sports medicine physician with Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic, PRP is most commonly used to treat arthritis in the knee. However, people suffering from rotator cuff pain, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, muscle injuries or other tendon and ligament injuries may also find relief with the procedure.

During a PRP procedure, blood is drawn and processed to isolate plasma and platelets.

Platelets are rich in proteins that naturally control inflammation and promote healing, Woods says.

The platelet-rich plasma is injected into the problem area.

When coupled with physical therapy, regenerative medicine treatments including PRP and bone marrow aspirate concentrate have been shown to help ease pain and improve function.

“It’s exciting news for people with chronic orthopedic conditions,” Woods says.

PRP is typically performed in the office under ultrasound guidance and takes approximately one hour.

Regenerative medicine is not covered by insurance and may not be recommended in all scenarios.

If you’re suffering from acute or chronic orthopedic issues and want to learn more about regenerative medicine treatment options, request a consultation today.

Published: Monday, March 18, 2019
Author: Alysha Schertz