PRP stands for platelet-rich plasma. This new therapy, which is used to treat a variety of orthopedic issues including jumper’s knee, also called patellar tendonitis, has increased in popularity over the years. More and more, studies prove its effectiveness, and an increasing number of patients are spreading the word about finding pain relief with PRP.
Jumper’s knee is called that because it primarily affects athletes who participate in sports that require jumping such as basketball, volleyball, and track.
What causes jumper’s knee?
The patellar tendon is the tendon that connects your knee cap to your shin bone and allows the kicking movement of your lower leg. Patellar tendonitis is an overuse injury that causes inflammation of the patellar tendon. This inflammation can lead to tears and further damage.
Athletes who frequently jump are at risk for this injury, especially volleyball players, studies show, because of the constant pounding of their feet hitting a hard pavement. This pounding creates stress and ultimately, inflammation of the tendon.
Pain is the primary symptom of jumper’s knee. Other symptoms include swelling and tenderness.
What is PRP therapy?
PRP therapy uses your body’s own healing properties to help accelerate the treatment of your chronic pain issues. Blood is comprised of liquid, also called plasma, and platelets, as well as red and white cells. The platelets contain proteins, which are growth factors that are integral to healing injuries.
PRP therapy involves separating the protein-rich platelets from the rest of the components of your blood and creating a concentration of growth-boosting, protein-rich platelets.
This process starts with drawing your blood and then mixing it with an anticoagulant. Vials of your blood are then placed into a centrifuge device. This centrifuge spins your blood, so the platelets are separated from the liquid part, creating this concentrated serum of platelets.
The plasma, or solution, is then injected into your soft tissue at the point of the pain or injury, through guided ultrasound. The PRP jump-starts your body’s own healing process to promote new cell growth and healing.
How can PRP therapy help treat jumper’s knee?
In many cases, jumper’s knee will heal with rest, icing, physical therapy, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and pain relievers. But for some, that relief does not come quickly enough. Or, those conservative treatments are not sufficient.
Studies show that PRP can reduce pain and inflammation and improve function, making PRP therapy a good jumper’s knee treatment option for people who have not found relief with other treatment options, or need to get back on the court or field quickly.
Here’s how it works: PRP solution is injected into your injured tissue to help stimulate your body’s healing and cell growth in the area of the patellar tendon. As the PRP starts working to promote this regeneration, you should begin to notice improvements over the next several weeks.
Do you have jumper’s knee pain? Learn how PRP can help you find relief by calling the office of Dr. J. Michael Bennet, with locations in Sugar Land and Houston, Texas. You can also make an appointment online through this website.