Millions of Americans experience symptoms due to painful joints — in fact, it’s a common medical complaint for both women and men. Sometimes, joint pain is caused by joint disease or a degenerative condition like osteoarthritis; other times, it’s the result of an injury. But whatever the cause might be, one thing remains the same: You want to feel better as quickly as possible.
Healing naturally requires time, even with traditional medical care. But today, regenerative medicine is helping people heal faster by tapping into the body’s “built-in” healing system.
As a top orthopedic specialist in Houston, Texas, Anthony S. Melillo, MD, understands the impact a joint or musculoskeletal injury can have, turning even simple, everyday activities into painful burdens. At Bay Oaks Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, he combines time-tested treatment options with innovative approaches like PRP therapy, with the goal of providing individuals with the custom care they need for speedy healing and recovery.
Here is how PRP works to repair damaged joints and relieve painful symptoms.
The essential role of platelets
Your blood is made up of four main components:
- Red blood cells
- White blood cells
- Plasma (the liquid part of the blood)
Platelets are special cells that help your blood clot, controlling the bleeding that may occur after an injury. But that’s not all they do. Platelets contain special proteins called growth factors. These proteins are released at the site of tissue damage, where they work to reduce inflammation and assist with tissue repair.
Putting your platelets to work
While your platelets promote healing responses naturally following tissue damage, they’re typically not “strong” enough to support complete healing — and they also don’t work as quickly as most people would like. That’s when PRP therapy can help.
During therapy, Dr. Melillo draws some of your own blood and places it in a special device called a centrifuge that helps isolate and concentrate your platelets. The resulting solution is combined with the plasma from your blood, then reinjected directly into your damaged tissue.
In essence, PRP therapy amplifies your body’s healing and regenerative responses by redirecting additional resources to the area that’s been damaged.
Multiple issues, one solution
PRP therapy is a revolutionary treatment that’s part of a branch of medicine called regenerative medicine. In recent years, regenerative medicine has emerged as a promising therapeutic area for professional athletes and anyone experiencing joint or musculoskeletal injuries.
Because PRP is an all-natural therapy that uses your own blood, there’s no risk of rejection or allergic reaction. And because it’s so versatile, it can be an excellent treatment for most musculoskeletal issues, including:
- Sports injuries
- Knee pain
- Shoulder pain
PRP is so useful in promoting healing that it’s also used during some types of orthopedic surgery to help “jump-start” the healing process for faster recovery.
What to expect during PRP treatment
Many people experience some relief of their symptoms after just one treatment, but most require a series of injections spaced a week or two apart.
As with any healing therapy, your response will depend on individual factors, like the extent of your tissue damage, your body’s ability to heal, and your age. Dr. Melillo will customize your treatment plan so you can enjoy optimal results.
PRP therapy is a minimally-invasive treatment that can help you find symptom relief without surgery. To find out if it’s a good choice for you, call us at 281-206-0033 or use our online form to schedule an office visit today.