Stimulate Healing with Platelet-Rich Plasma Prolotherapy
By Dr. Ayo K. Bankole
In Prolotherapy/Regenerative Medicine, Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) has been revolutionizing musculoskeletal health by dramatically shortening recovery time from injury and even often providing an option to surgery. Hines Ward of the Super Bowl winning Pittsburgh Steelers and other athletes have been using it as described in a New York Times article over a decade ago. In PRP Prolotherapy, platelets are taken from the patient’s blood then separated from the red blood cells and plasma with a special centrifuge machine. They are then concentrated and resuspended in plasma and then injected into the injured area. The treatment of damaged ligaments and tendons triggers the wound healing cascade. Upon activation, platelets release an orchestra of growth factors. These activated fibroblasts then deposit new collagen in the treated area which, over time, tightens and strengthens the joint and improves cartilage health.
The use of PRP began in surgical settings where it improves the success of bone grafts and shortens healing time in plastic surgery. Prolotherapy with PRP enjoys increasing use among orthopedic doctors and pain specialists. PRP is now successfully used in the treatment of chronic pain, tennis elbow, rotator cuff injuries, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, meniscal tears, and other conditions.
When should PRP be considered?
Dextrose or traditional Prolotherapy is great for everyday joint pain and mild injuries. However, individuals with more severe arthritis and joint degeneration, or individuals such as athletes with higher grade injuries might consider PRP. Those who have limited results from dextrose Prolotherapy may be good candidates for PRP also. Prolotherapy with PRP may make joint replacement unnecessary in those with osteoarthritis of the hip and knee and can first be considered before pursuing more invasive options.
After Platelet-Rich Plasma
After treatment, the joint may experience about three days of soreness and stiffness. Some patients may prefer to take Tylenol during this time. I advise against taking any steroidal or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication as they inhibit healing and repair. Patients are encouraged to remain active as tolerable, but to avoid aggressive activity for at least the first several days after treatment.
How many treatments are needed?
Typically, two to four treatments at four-to-six-week intervals are required. Occasionally relief is gained after just one treatment. The number of treatments needed depends on the extent of damage, the complexity of the joint treated, along with age and state of health. In my experience one PRP treatment possesses the healing potential of two or three dextrose Prolotherapy treatments.
Dr. Ayo Bankole has received advanced training in Prolotherapy and is a member of The American Osteopathic Association of Prolotherapy Regenerative Medicine www.prolotherapycollege.org, the California Association of Naturopathic Doctors www.calnd.org, and the American College for the Advancement of Medicine www.acam.org. He uses Prolotherapy to treat pain conditions of the back, neck, hips, knees, feet, shoulders, elbows, and hands.
To learn if Prolotherapy is right for you call 909-981-9200 for a free consultation.