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How is PRP Used in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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In the past, athletes had to undergo complicated surgery to address chronic pain and overuse injuries. Unfortunately, surgery often leads to extended recovery and downtime. Using minimally invasive solutions, like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in Asheville, NC, you can return to your active lifestyle more quickly than ever before.

Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine is proud to successfully treat athletes, weekend warriors and others through a regenerative therapy called platelet-rich plasma. So, what is platelet-rich plasma, and how does PRP work? When you visit board-certified doctor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Dr. Christie Lehman, we can answer your questions and perform an assessment to see if PRP is right for you.

How does PRP work?

Blood is composed of red and white blood cells, plasma, and platelets, which are responsible for blood clotting. So, how does PRP work? To put it simply, platelet-rich plasma uses your own healing capabilities to treat a sports injury. When platelets are activated, they release certain proteins and attract stem cells that contribute to regrowth. We use this process to regenerate tissue in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

Platelet-rich plasma is usually advised for:

  • Mild to moderate osteoarthritis

  • Chronic tendonitis around the joints (including the hip, shoulder, elbow, wrist, fingers, knee, ankle, and toes)

  • Patients who have tried and failed conservative treatments, such as medication, rest and physical therapy

What happens during regenerative therapy

PRP comes from your own blood, which makes this in-office procedure relatively easy. First, we draw blood from your arm. The blood then goes into a special centrifuge to separate the platelets. Once this is finished, Dr. Lehman will carefully administer the PRP injections using ultrasound guidance into the problem area. Our clinic in Asheville, NC may require multiple treatments depending on the problem area.

What happens after PRP treatment

Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine personalizes treatment instructions based on the type and severity of your wear and tear problem. After your appointment, you may still require a brace or a sling for extra support. Most people can return to work the following day provided they avoid strenuous activities and exercise. You can expect some post-injection soreness, but our team will give you information on how to make yourself feel comfortable during this time.

Results from platelet-rich plasma

Many professional athletes have taken advantage of the healing properties of PRP. For instance, basketball player Brandon Roy underwent six separate knee surgeries to address chronic knee discomfort with no results. Instead of opting for retirement, he got a second chance at his career due to platelet-rich plasma.

Research suggests that PRP for athletes can successfully treat pain from overuse injuries and other problems commonly faced by athletes. It does take time for the injured tissue to repair, but the outcomes are long-lasting. Generally, initial relief may start at 4-6 weeks with the most optimal results seen at 6 – 9 months. During your initial appointment, we can give you a specific estimate based on your treatment goals.

Learn more about PRP for athletes

Mild to moderate osteoarthritis, tendonitis, and overuse injuries can prevent you from comfortably performing daily activities. If you believe you can benefit from regenerative therapy, contact Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine to learn about PRP for athletes. Dr. Christie Lehman is pleased to offer this advanced treatment for patients in Asheville, NC who want to speed the healing process in a natural and noninvasive way.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.