Understanding Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections

When we start discussing platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections as a treatment option, patients will sometimes stop us to ask “Isn’t that the treatment famous athletes like Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant have used for their injuries?” We are proud to acknowledge that it is the same. Even better, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to receive this advanced treatment here at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists!

Even if you might be familiar with its association with popular athletes, you may not know exactly what is entailed with PRP therapy. So let’s take a look at this treatment by answering some common questions:

  • What is a platelet-rich plasma injection? It is a procedure that draws blood from a patient, and then separates the platelets (more on these in a second) and concentrates them in plasma through centrifugation. After the plasma has a greater density of platelets, we inject it into the damaged tissue.
  • Why does PRP work? Those platelets we mentioned a moment ago contain hundreds of growth factors (proteins essential for healing injuries). By enriching the plasma with them, the healing process is faster. This is useful not only for healing injuries, but also in assisting with surgical recovery time.
  • Is it safe? Absolutely. First, we only use a patient’s own plasma and platelets, so there should be no concern about having something passed along from another individual. There are minimal risks associated with this therapy, and those risks are the same ones found with corticosteroid injections (which are certainly considered to be safe). If there were questions about the safety of this procedure, we would simply not offer it.

Platelet-rich plasma injection therapy can be used for many different foot and ankle conditions we treat at our Austin, TX podiatry office. For more information on this particular therapy, or any other questions you may have regarding the state-of-the-art services we provide, simply give us a call at (512) 328-8900. As always, feel free to request your appointment with Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists online as well.

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