Platelet rich plasma injections are an alternative procedure to surgery by promoting healing through the innate properties of platelets. This procedure is used in tendon injuries including the elbow, patella, achilles and joint injury.
Tendons are difficult to heal due to the low blood supply, high work load, and healing by scarring. With platelet rich plasma injections, platelets can be harvested from the patient’s plasma and re-injected into the tendon. Platelets naturally have growth factors which stimulate blood vessels and epithelial tissues along with initiating the inflammatory cascade. In addition, the use of platelets does not result in atrophy or structural changes to the tendon as some injectable corticosteroids.
Prolotherapy is a non-surgical therapy to stimulate the connective tissues of the body to tighten. This therapy is used primarily around unstable joints. A medication is injected into the ligaments where they originate or inserted into the bone around the unstable joint. This can cause a counter irritation, which increases blood flow and promotes healing.
A concentrated solution, such as dextrose (sugar water), is injected into the pain/injury site. The injection stimulates the production of new bone and fibrous connective tissue and causes them to become inflamed. As these structures thicken they make a loose joint more stable and tighten the ligaments, which ease pain and discomfort.
Prolotherapy is used in patella luxation, unstable stifle rotations, and backs that have unstable vertebral segments.
The cycle of tissue inflammation to healing takes at least 6 weeks. The response to this treatment varies from patient to patient, the severity of the injury, as well as the healing ability in the patient. Once treatments have been started, proper after care can influence the number of treatments required for the healing process. It is VERY important to follow written instructions between treatments.