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Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet rich plasma, otherwise known as PRP, has received a lot of attention for helping treat injured tissues and ligaments within the shoulder, knee and elbow joints, as well as easing the symptoms of arthritis. Laboratory studies have confirmed that an increased concentration of PRP’s growth factors can speed up a patient’s healing process. Chicago, Illinois orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, Dr. Nikhil Verma is actively involved in treating certain patients with PRP therapy following an injury, as well as documenting a patient’s outcome to further enhance a PRP procedure.

Platelet rich plasma is a form of regenerative medicine that utilizes the body’s natural healing abilities for accelerated healing after an injury. PRP therapy is becoming more widely used and recognized as an effective, safe and non-invasive treatment option for damaged ligaments, tendons and muscles, as well as alleviating osteoarthritis symptoms.

Many active individuals and athletes have heard numerous success stories of platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy helping professional athletes return to the game much quicker. Blood platelet injection therapy was actually developed in the 1970s, but knee specialists and shoulder surgeons such as Dr. Nikhil Verma have only recently turned to this regenerative medicine treatment to aid in the body’s natural healing response following an orthopedic injury. Dr. Verma offers PRP orthopedic injections to appropriately selected patients living in the Chicago, Westchester, Oak Brook and Hinsdale, Illinois communities who have experienced an injury to a tendon, ligament, muscle or cartilage.

How Blood Platelet Injection Therapy is Performed

Human blood is composed of four main components, including red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and platelets. It is clinically proven platelets release healing proteins called growth factors when activated. Growth factors are a naturally occurring substance capable of stimulating cellular growth and accelerating the human body’s natural healing response. When these growth factors are injected into an injured area of the body through PRP orthopedic injections, they help promote a natural healing response that can be helpful in reducing the healing time for a variety of orthopedic injuries.

PRP injections are a quick and relatively simple treatment option for many orthopedic injuries. During PRP orthopedic injections, a patient’s blood is taken during a simple venous draw, most commonly from the arm area. The blood sample is then spun down to separate the platelets from other structures. The platelets’ concentration is then increased during a process called centrifugation. Platelet rich plasma injections release 3-5 times the growth factors compared to regular human blood. The platelet rich plasma is then injected directly into the injured soft tissue to accelerate healing. The growth factors and platelets will activate once they reach the injured area. A local anesthetic is commonly mixed with the platelets to make blood platelet injection therapy more comfortable for the patient.

If you would like to see the leading research on the outcomes of biologic/regenerative treatments, please visit our research library.

What is PRP Therapy?

PRP therapy is becoming more widely used and recognized as an effective treatment for injured tissues, injured ligaments and easing arthritis symptoms. Common conditions that can be effectively treated with PRP include tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, inflammation of the patellar tendon, rotator cuff injuries and arthritis of the shoulder, knee and elbow.

When the fibers of collagen are stretched or torn on a ligament or tendon, they begin to bleed, leading to an increased rate of healing from the blood flow. The blood carries growth factors and platelets that aid in healing by creating new collagen fibers. If the healing process does not work as the body intended, scar tissue will develop and healing will be slowed, altered or stopped. If you would like to see the leading research on the outcomes of biologic/regenerative treatments, please visit our research library.

Common Uses of PRP Injections

Dr. Verma utilizes PRP injections for a number of orthopedic injuries and conditions, including:

  • Shoulder – Rotator cuff injuries, biceps tendonitis, labral and SLAP tears, instability and arthritis
  • Knee – Ligament injuries, meniscus tears, patellar tendonitis, patellar instability and arthritis
  • Elbow – Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow

Can PRP Injections Help You?

There are two ways to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure:

  • You can provide current X-rays and/or MRIs for a clinical case review ($250).
  • You can schedule an office consultation that should be covered by your insurance.

Does PRP Therapy Work?

Platelet rich plasma and PRP therapy holds great promise in the sports medicine and orthopedic fields of medicine. Dr. Verma and his colleagues at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush are involved with numerous research studies on the effects of ligament healing, tendon healing and easing symptoms of arthritis using PRP. They are also documenting patients undergoing a PRP procedure for their outcomes and healing response. Even though the science behind PRP continues to evolve and the indications are constantly changing, the future of platelet rich plasma looks encouraging in healing sports injuries.

For more resources on platelet rich plasma or to determine if you are a candidate for PRP therapy, contact the office of Dr. Nikhil Verma, orthopedic surgeon serving the greater Chicago, Illinois area.

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