by Brad L. Hayman, DPM, Complete Foot & Ankle Care
Platelet-rich plasma therapy involves the use of a patient’s concentrated plasma cells injected into an area of inflammation or injury to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanism.
The healing process of an injury involves a complex series of events in which proteins in the blood act as messengers to activate growth factors that repair damaged tissue.
Platelets are small cells in the blood that normally concentrate in an area of inflammation or injury to start the healing process. In cases where the inflammation or injury becomes chronic, a concentrated injection of platelet-rich plasma derived from a patient’s own blood can “jump-start” the healing process.
The process involves taking a sample of a patient’s own blood. Next, the blood is spun down in a centrifuge to separate the blood components while concentrating the platelets. The plasma component is then injected into the area of inflammation or injury. The therapy usually takes about 30 minutes, and complications are rare because platelet-rich plasma therapy uses the patient’s own natural body properties to treat the inflammation/injury.
There are a number of conditions that can benefit from this therapy. Plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, bursitis, ankle sprains/strains and Morton’s neuromas are just a few painful problems that have been helped.