PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, is an innovative treatment option that people with ankle and foot injuries may consider as an alternative to surgery in many cases, including healing damaged or torn connective tissues and more.
PRP therapy offers several benefits, including
- PRP is made by using the blood of the patient and is therefore autologous, and the injections come with a much lower risk of an adverse reaction compared to introducing a foreign substance into the body.
- PRP initiates healing of the injury versus treating a symptom of an injury, and so can offer longer lasting results.
In comparison, other therapies for treating foot and ankle pain may have a variety of drawbacks or side effects.
- Cortisone injections may temporarily relieve pain by reducing inflammation, but do not naturally stimulate healing in the same way as PRP injections.
- NSAIDs like ibuprofen and aspirin may relieve pain, but prolonged use is not recommended as it can lead to issues with blood pressure, the stomach, and the heart.
- Physical therapy alone will not always improve function or relieve symptoms of torn or damaged connective tissues.
- Any minor surgery for damaged connective tissue is not guaranteed to be effective and may come with longer recovery times and notable risks.
Who Makes A Good Candidate for PRP?
There have been a number of studies looking at who would make a good candidate for PRP injection therapy. While the research is still underway, the following suggestions have been made as to who might be able to try PRP injection therapy and when.
PRP may be considered when:
- Attending physical therapy does not help to reduce pain or improve function
- The tendon pain experienced impacts daily activities
- A variety of non-surgical therapies have either been eliminated or failed
- The patient has a sensitivity to medications for anti-inflammation or the medications fail to provide relief
- Surgery is either not desired or not an option
Keep in mind that there are some cases where the platelet-rich plasma therapy will not be suggested for a severe injury. In such cases, it may be suggested that the patient has surgery to help repair the damaged area to get long-term relief.
Understanding The PRP Procedure
With such injections, precision is required, which means working with a professional who may use imaging technology for targeted placement of the injection to the damaged area. For the in-office procedure with a blood draw, you can expect that the blood will be processed while using a centrifuge machine so that the platelet-rich plasma can be gathered for the injection.
The area where the injection is to be placed will be disinfected thoroughly and there may be a numbing agent applied around the site. You will be asked to relax and the area of the injection will be mapped out. The platelet -rich plasma will then be injected into the area of injury and then the site is cleaned and bandaged.
After administration, the injection therapy works to stimulate a set of biological responses including inflammation, which helps with the natural healing process of the damaged area.
The team at Mill Creek Foot & Ankle Clinic will be happy to go over your case to determine whether or not PRP injection therapy is a good option for you and the ankle and foot injury you are dealing with. We will be happy to go through a complete medical history and examination before setting up a time for you to start in on injection therapy.
Mill Creek Foot & Ankle Clinic is one of the few clinics in Snohomish County with the ability to provide PRP for their patients on a same day basis. If you are interested PRP for foot and ankle injuries in Monroe, contact Mill Creek Foot & Ankle Clinic. Call us today for more information.