While orthopaedic surgery offers tremendous capability for restoring mechanical function to the human body, no one looks forward to the weeks and months of recovery that sometimes follow.
Your body can only heal as fast as your bloodstream delivers the raw materials necessary for the required repairs.
Increasingly, surgeons look to regenerative medicine, a field that helps the body recover faster using a medicine group called biologics. Often derived from your body’s own tissue, biologics enhance the way you already heal, increasing the efficiency and power of natural recovery.
There are three essential benefits that PRP injections offer for your healing. Let’s take a closer look at PRP and the advantages it offers to you as a surgical patient.
You likely already know how platelets can start clotting blood to heal a cut. A protein called fibrin builds a matrix that holds clotting blood in place. This then forms a protective scab as it dries, protecting the skin repairs beneath.
Platelets contain other proteins too, including growth factor hormones. Hormones are the chemical messengers of the body, with each type delivering signals that regulate various body systems. Growth hormones help to guide the body’s rebuilding efforts.
The supply of platelets is limited to those that your bloodstream can deliver. PRP serves as a technique to enhance the supply of growth factor hormones at the site of an injury, or in our case, at the site of a healing surgical wound.
Chances are, you’ve had plenty of blood tests over the years. The medical team extracts a small amount of blood with a needle, usually from a vein on the inside of your elbow. PRP starts with a similar amount of blood drawn in the same way.
Isolating the platelets in a centrifuge, we extract these and mix with a small amount of plasma to create the serum that’s ready for reinjection into your body. It’s as simple as that, with no more risk than any other blood draw or injection.
We use your own blood, so there’s little risk of tissue rejection. With little downside to the procedure, let’s examine those three essential benefits.
While it’s not known precisely how PRP produces its results, the low risk with high reward nature of the treatment makes it a worthwhile part of the surgical recovery process.
Inflammation is a key part of tissue healing, but too much inflammation interferes with an efficient response. Controlling inflammation and swelling is typically part of any post-surgical stage. PRP adds another layer of inflammation reduction.
As inflammation subsides, pain often recedes too. That means doses of pain relief medications may be smaller. This is a key benefit, since pain drugs carry their own side effects, while PRP does not.
Since healing only proceeds at a rate supported by the supply of platelets, PRP therapy expands recovery potential. Simply, more platelets at the site of a surgical wound remove any limits due to low platelet availability.
Ask us more about how PRP helps you after your orthopaedic surgery. You can book your consultation with Cascade Orthopaedics online or by phone. Schedule your visit today.