If you’ve ever sprained a wrist or ankle, you know just how painful and limiting a ligament tear can be. Now imagine tearing one of your body’s major ligaments, like your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or medial collateral ligament (MCL).
If you’re currently dealing with a ligament tear that just won’t seem to heal, you might be a good candidate for the treatment that’s been used by elite professional athletes like golfer Tiger Woods and baseball player Alex Rodriguez: platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.
In this blog, our pain management specialists at Integrated Body and Medicine explain what PRP therapy is and when to consider it for a ligament tear.
What is PRP therapy?
PRP therapy is a type of orthopedic treatment that we use to help our patients heal from injuries more quickly. It involves the injection of platelet-rich plasma into an injury site.
Your body naturally produces plasma, which contains platelets. Platelets, or small fragments of blood cells, contain high concentrations of important healing compounds like growth factors, a type of protein that stimulates cellular repair in your body.
To create platelet-rich plasma, we draw your blood and spin it in a centrifuge, separating plasma and platelets from other parts of your blood. Then we inject the plasma solution into your injury site, using ultrasound as a guide.
The injection jump-starts your body’s natural healing process, fully targeting the injured area, which allows your body to focus its efforts, so to speak.
Does PRP therapy really work?
While more research is needed to determine the long-term healing effects of PRP therapy and the effects on various conditions, studies generally show that PRP therapy can help speed up the healing process. And it’s inherently safe, since the injection contains your own bodily fluids.
PRP therapy for sports injuries
PRP therapy is increasingly popular in sports settings, and for good reason. A growing body of evidence looking at PRP therapy for sports injuries touts PRP as a viable solution for tendon and ligament injuries.
Some scenarios that warrant consideration of PRP therapy include:
- A recurring ligament tear
- A very slow-healing ligament tear
- A severe ligament tear that was surgically reattached
- A partial ligament tear that causes chronic pain and impedes athletic or occupational functioning
PRP treatment for a ligament tear can help you regain complete, pain-free functioning in the affected area. Whether you’re an elite athlete or the average Joe, PRP therapy can improve your quality of life and physical abilities by encouraging your body to initiate the healing process at the site of your torn ligament.
To learn more about PRP or come in for a consultation, schedule an appointment. Call our Highland, Indiana, office or book an appointment through our online system.