Huggins Hospital offers innovative treatment to help heal orthopedic injuries
A new treatment used to relieve pain and accelerate the healing process is now available at Huggins Hospital. The treatment, called platelet-rich plasma treatment (PRP), is an outpatient procedure that involves an injection of your own platelets to the injured area. The treatment is most commonly used to promote healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints and is recommended for diagnoses such as patellar tendonitis, elbow epicondylitis and Achilles tendonitis.
It is a simple procedure with wide-ranging benefits utilized by popular athletes including David Ortiz, who credits the procedure for a speedy recovery from surgery in 2007 after helping the Red Sox win the World Series. Other famous athletes who have undergone PRP include golfer Tiger Woods, retired NBA great Kobe Bryant and former Patriots defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn.
PRP presents patients with a long lasting, permanent solution that will not wear off over time as with a traditional pain injection. For this reason, the use of PRP could be an alternative to more invasive procedures. With any treatment option, the effectiveness of the treatment depends upon the severity of the injury.
For the PRP treatment, your own blood is used to extract platelets. Platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood, however, they also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors, which are important in the healing of injuries. The blood is drawn and then spun down using a centrifuge to create a concentration of platelets – and thereby growth factors – that can be 5-to-10 times greater than normal. This result is known as platelet-rich plasma. The PRP is then injected into the injured area. The release of the growth factors helps recruit and increase the production of reparative cells, enhancing the healing process. The treatment, including making the PRP, usually takes less than an hour.
Several clinical studies have demonstrated that PRP injections have improved function and decreased pain to various joints, including elbow, wrist, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle.
The PRP treatment is offered at Huggins Hospital by Michael Giovan, MD, FAAOS on Mondays and Wednesdays in the Orthopedic Surgeons suite. The out-of-pocket cost is $500 for the PRP treatment.
For more information or to make an appointment, please call Huggins Hospital’s Orthopedic Surgeons office at 603.569.7690.