Torn or damaged ligaments, tendons and muscles are a major source of pain. Steroids usually provide temporary pain relief, but may provoke tissue degeneration. Surgery is expensive, painful, may cause complications such as phlebitis or infection, requires long-term rehabilitation, and may not offer permanent recovery.
Effective injection techniques exist for the treatment of muscle, joint, ligament and tendon problems without resorting to steroid injections or orthopedic surgery. It is preferable to use these simple injection techniques before pursuing surgical options. They often reduce pain and improve function, and may be repeated when necessary. One of these techniques is Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP. With this treatment blood is withdrawn from the patient’s vein, treated with heparin to prevent clotting, and spun in a centrifuge to separate the red blood cells from plasma and platelets. The PRP is injected into damaged or painful tissues. Growth factors from platelets and lymphocytes stimulate new tissue growth, and heal the painful area. PRP can be used alone or in conjunction with other effective therapies such as Prolozone and can be injected through the same needle used for prolotherapy. Injections should be given at least one month apart to allow for the full effect. We have treated patients who were told they needed joint replacement surgery, whose x-rays revealed severe degeneration, but nevertheless responded to injections with a significant reduction or elimination of pain and restored function.
– Allan Sosin MD