Whereas traditional cortisone injections remain widely used in order to neutralize acute and chronic inflammatory conditions, they do not help the body heal or repair or regenerate the affected structures and tissues. In the short term, cortisone injections offer immediate pain relief and are a very effective and safe diagnostic modality. However, over the long term, serial cortisone injections can lead to weakening and atrophy of the tissues.
In the last few years, there have been several amazing advances in the field of regenerative medicine. Regenerative Medicine is the field of medicine that studies how the human body identifies and injury and uses its own naturally occurring proteins and growth factors, along specific pathways to heal an injury and inflammation.
One of the technologies that has come thru, which has shown tremendous success is Platelet Rich Plasma injections. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is obtained by drawing the patient’s own blood and placing it in a centrifuge which will separate the various components of the blood based on their specific weight. The top collected in the tube are all the platelets. These platelets are then activated and then injected in the location of pain or injury. This amplifies the body’s own response to the injury or inflammation and accelerates the body’s own natural healing pathways and generates new tissue growth.
The injections have been widely used in professional sports with tremendous success, allowing athletes to returning to full activity level in record time and are now available without the need to go to a hospital. Golf champion Tiger Woods and Tennis Champion Rafael Nadal have both spoken about how they benefitted from PRP.
If you are suffering from an inflammatory or painful condition of the foot or ankle, you should call us and schedule a consultation to discuss if platelet rich plasm is right for you.