It is summertime and we see more patients with foot and ankle injuries this time of year. Some of these involve chronic tendinitis and some involvement more acute sprains or even partial tears of tendons or ligaments. There are number of ways of addressing these problems.
If some of the injuries are quite severe or chronic, and unresponsive we often consider platelet rich plasma or PRP. When we do this procedure we may have already done ultrasound imaging or an MRI to make certain of the exact nature of the injury and damage. Once the diagnosis has been clearly established, we may want to speed up the healing with PRP injections utilizing ultrasound guidance. The PRP procedure itself involves drawing up approximately 30 cc of blood and then using a high-speed centrifuge to separate the blood into the plasma portion, red blood cell portion and the platelets. It is the platelet component that has the extra growth factors that we want.
We get between 2.0 and 3.5 cc of the platelet component that we can use to repair the damaged tissue. Once the PRP procedure has been done, then we typically would utilize a cast boot to protect the injured area as the bodies healing is enhanced and speeds up with the PRP. We would ask our patients to refrain from anti-inflammatories and aspirin. We want to allow an inflammatory response.
In some ways this is similar to when someone has a significant injury and there is deep bruising. The bruising itself does have blood which has the platelets and the growth factor. The big difference with PRP is that we are utilizing a highly concentrated growth factor from your own body to enhance healing. If you have a chronic condition or injury and would like to discuss PRP with either Dr. Brandon Nelson or myself (Dr. Timothy Young), please contact our office.