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PRP - Why It's a Breakthrough in Treating Damaged Joints

We rely on our joints for so much. Without them, the simplest movements from twisting the cap off a water bottle to getting out of a chair would be virtually impossible. Unfortunately, our joints are susceptible to a wide variety of injuries and damaging conditions that result in pain and mobility issues. 

What’s worse is that conservative methods like pain medications, topical creams, and physical therapy aren’t always enough to repair damage and injury. Even your body’s natural healing response can be too slow and cause you to live with agonizing joint damage. 

We have a better option.

Our team of experts at Somers Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Group offers platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections as a natural solution to your painful joint damage. Here’s a closer look at this breakthrough joint treatment. 

Common causes of joint damage

Whether they’re bearing weight or helping you get around, your joints are always working, which means they can easily become damaged or injured. 

One of the most common causes of joint damage is osteoarthritis, a condition that refers to the gradual wearing down of cartilage in your joints. Without cartilage, your bones rub against each other, resulting in painful inflammation and lack of mobility. 

Joint damage can also stem from other injuries and conditions, including:

Some of the best ways to find relief from your symptoms and treat joint damage are to help your body heal naturally. That’s where PRP injections come in. 

PRP explained

Platelet-rich plasma might sound mysterious, but it’s actually derived from your blood. Your blood is an incredibly powerful substance. It performs a variety of functions from transporting oxygen throughout your body to helping your immune system fight off infection and illness. 

Your blood is also a key player in your body’s recovery and repair process. Two of the main components of your blood, platelets and plasma, contain unique proteins and growth factors that make them potent healers.

Plasma is a straw-colored liquid that comprises approximately 55% of your blood and is responsible for maintaining blood pressure and volume, carrying electrolytes, and most importantly, helping with blood clotting at the site of an injury. 

Platelets make up a significantly smaller portion of your blood, but are powerhouses when it comes to clotting blood and regenerating cells. 

When we isolate plasma and platelets from the rest of your blood and inject them into your damaged joints, they create an extremely effective pain management therapy known as PRP injections. 

How PRP injections work

PRP injection therapy begins with a sample of your blood. We place your sample in a special machine called a centrifuge that spins your sample and separates the components of your blood. 

Then, we take the separated plasma and prepare it for injection. Depending on the area being treated, we use an ultrasound to guide the injection needle into the right location. If you’re concerned about the injection, we can administer a local anesthetic to the treatment area to keep you completely comfortable. 

Once we’ve injected the PRP, the high concentrations of growth factors from the PRP facilitate your body’s response to injury, accelerate your recovery time, and help relieve your pain. 

PRP injections address your joint damage at its source in your joint (or the associated tendon or bursa). Unlike other treatments, they don’t simply mask the pain, but instead utilize your body’s own healing factors to reduce painful joint inflammation and incite healing processes in a tendon or bursa. Because it’s naturally sourced from your own body, there’s no risk that your body will reject PRP. 

What to expect after PRP injections

Following your injection, you may notice some swelling or tenderness at the injection site, but this is expected and is actually a sign that your body has started the healing process. 

You can get right back to your normal routine without having to take time off for recovery, although we typically recommend a short period of rest from more intense activities. Some of our patients experience results as soon as a few weeks after their injections, but the best results typically develop after a few months. 

We closely monitor your progress following your injection, and we often recommend physical therapy or other pain management therapies to facilitate the injection’s impact on your joints. 

If you’d like more information or want to see if PRP is an option for you, don’t hesitate to call our friendly staff or request an appointment online. We have five offices conveniently located in Carmel, Newburgh, Mount Kisco, and Fishkill in New York, as well as in Danbury, Connecticut. 

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