PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) injections are one of my favorite treatment modalities, and for good reason. This revolutionary therapy can be used to accelerate and promote healing, reduce pain, and limit inflammation in a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. As a form of “regenerative medicine”, PRP actually employs a small concentration of a patient’s own platelets to repair tissue. It is low-risk, cost-effective, and fast acting. If you’re interested in learning more about how PRP actually works, read my blog here. Otherwise, follow along to learn about 7 of the many conditions that PRP injections are commonly used to treat.
1. Knee Osteoarthritis and Other Knee Injuries
Both acute injuries and chronic wear-and-tear are very commonly incurred in the knee. In fact, over half of all Americans will experience knee osteoarthritis in their lifetime. Luckily, many knee conditions respond extremely well to PRP injections. Recent research recommends PRP injections as the #1 treatment option for knee osteoarthritis. In a 2021 study, researchers found that PRP was significantly more effective than corticosteroids for reducing pain, stiffness, and functionality, even 3, 6, and 9 months later. By regulating inflammation and synthesizing collagen, they don’t just reduce pain–they promote long term recovery and healing.
2. Tennis Elbow and Elbow Injuries
Tennis elbow is a common overuse injury of the muscles and tendons of the forearm. Many athletes and non-athletes suffer from this condition. When injected in the tendon, PRP is highly-effective for treating tennis elbow and other activity-related or arthritic conditions of the arm. It can reduce swelling, pain, and other symptoms. PRP has been proven to be more effective than cortisone shots and far less invasive or risky than surgery.
3. Hip Pain
“Wear and tear” arthritis to the hip, or osteoarthritis, is very common in aging adults. In a recent meta-analysis of several clinic trials, PRP has been proven to reduce pain and improve function in those suffering from hip osteoarthritis. It is highly effective for providing long term relief from inflammatory symptoms such as joint stiffness, swelling, loss of mobility, or acute pain.
4. Hair Regrowth
Recently, PRP injections have been proven to treat hair loss, in particular, androgenetic alopecia (AGA), a hormone-related form of hair loss that occurs in both men and women. The current procedure consists of three treatments, three months apart, that use microneedles in the scalp to promote regeneration and blood-flow to the scalp.
5. Torn Rotator Cuff and Shoulder Injuries
In a recent study of people with a torn rotator cuffs, after receiving PRP injections, positive results were seen in 77.9% of patients at 6 months, 71.6% at 1 year, and 68.8% of patients at 2 years. Interestingly, those with worse tears saw the most positive results, compared to those with mild inflammation or tendonitis. Although rotator cuff surgery is usually effective, PRP is a far less invasive and highly-effective alternative.
6. Ankle Injuries
Ankle injuries, such as acute lateral ankle sprains, usually take months to recover, requiring consistent rest, medication, and physical therapy. PRP, however, can reduce that recovery time to a couple weeks! This allows you to return to your sport much sooner, and reduce the risk of developing chronic ankle instability or pain. PRP injections are a highly-viable option for those suffering from ankle-related conditions.
7. Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury associated with chronic inflammation of tissue on the bottom of the foot. 10% of the population experiences plantar fasciitis at some point in their life. It usually requires months of rest, icing, and anti-inflammatory medications. A recent study saw significant lasting improvement in those with plantar fasciitis who received PRP compared to a control group.
Is PRP Right For Me?
If you are suffering from chronic or acute pain, an inflammatory condition, arthritis, a sports injury, or a related condition, you may be a good candidate for platelet-rich plasma injections. As an orthopaedic surgeon, I’ve seen incredible results from PRP. Many people see lasting improvement within 2-6 weeks of treatment. If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about treatment, feel free to reach out!
Live in the Louisville, Kentucky-region and interested in learning more about whether PRP injections are an option for you? Dr. Stacie Grossfeld is here to serve you. Dr. Grossfeld has decades of experience as a double board certified sports medicine physician and orthopedic surgeon. Perhaps even more importantly, Dr. Grossfeld is an athlete and is passionate about sports. She understands the frustration that can come from injuries, and she works with athletes to help get them back on the road to recovery as quickly and successfully as possible. For more information about PRP injections or other services Dr. Grossfeld provides, call 502-212-2663 today. New patients are welcome, and we accept almost every type of insurance.