PRP (platelet rich plasma) Injections are now offered at Premier Podiatry Group
There have been great advances in non-surgical treatments for heel pain. We have been very reluctant to use surgery until all conservative options are exhausted. Recently, our office has started a procedure called “PRP” injection into the heel region. PRP (platelet rich plasma) is the portion of the blood that is harvested from your own blood and is re-injected back into the heel area to re-start the healing. PRP injection has been very successful in treating chronic cases of plantar fasciitis and achilles tendinosis.
The idea of platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection is to allow the growth factors in the blood to be used to cause an inflammation process in the injured tissue to allow an increase in the healing response of the body. The blood is drawn and spun down. Under ultrasound guidance and local anesthesia in the office, the injection of the PRP is placed in the damaged tissue. This allows an increased growth factor release in the area that sparks the healing process.
This is a newer treatment that many professional athletes receive in order to heal and return to playing sooner. It is non-surgical, with quicker healing times and has been showing promising results for many conditions such as plantar fasciitis, tendonosis, ligament and tendon tears, bone healing, wound healing etc.
PRP INJECTIONS – Treatment Option For Chronic Foot Conditions
What is PRP?
PRP is “platelet-rich plasma”. This is also known as autologous blood concentrate APC. Platelets are a specialized type of blood cell that are involved with injury healing. With PRP, a concentrated platelet solution is injected into the injured area to stimulate healing.
Why does it work?
PRP works by recreating and stimulating the bodies’ natural healing process. Since human platelets are naturally extremely rich in connective tissue growth factor, injecting these growth factors into damaged ligaments and tendons stimulates a natural repair process. In order to benefit from these natural healing proteins the platelets must first be concentrated.
How is PRP done?
PRP is performed in our outpatient surgery center facility.
First, blood is drawn form the patient and placed in a special centrifuge, where the blood is spun down. During this process the platelets are separated from the red blood cells and are concentrated. The red blood cells are then discarded and the resulting platelets concentrate is used for treatment.
During the time the blood is spinning in the centrifuge, the painful area is injected with a local anesthetic such as lidocaine, to numb it up. The entire treatment takes approximately 30-40 minutes.
Is PRP painful?
Since the painful area is anesthetized prior to the injection, the actual injections may be just slightly uncomfortable. Once the local anesthetic wears off, typically in a few hours, there is mild-to-moderate pain for the next few days.
For the first week after the injections it is critical to avoid anti-inflammatories such as Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Celebrex, Mobic etc. Also, patients are to avoid using ice on the treated area. These will interfere with the healing response.
Tylenol may be used for pain relief. Patients may be placed into a cam walker or soft cast for 3-4 days, after the injection. Generally, patients may return to normal gym activities in 3-4 weeks after the treatment.
How often can PRP be done?
Some patients respond very well after just one treatment. However, typically 1-3 treatments are necessary.
Improvement of 80-85% is suggested by most studies. Some patients experience complete relief in their pain and the results are generally permanent!!
Foot Conditions that are effectively treated with PRP
PRP works best for chronic ligament and tendon sprains/strains that have failed other conservative treatment. Also it can be used for bone healing and wounds and many other soft tissue injuries in the foot /ankle that may not be mentioned above.