Here at North Austin Foot & Ankle, our ultimate goal is to make sure our patients’ feet and ankles are healthy so that they can continue being active. We pride ourselves on providing accurate diagnoses and professional advice, as well as offering state-of-the-art treatments options for most – if not all – foot and ankle conditions out there. And this includes staying up to date on all medical advances, including those made in the regenerative medicine realm.
One such treatment is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, which we offer right here at our office!
What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy?
In simple terms, PRP is your own blood, reconfigured to provide therapeutic benefits.
Your blood is made up of many components, and platelets are among the most essential. Your platelets are not only responsible for blood clotting to close a wound, but also contain a copious amount of growth factors necessary for repair of our body’s damaged tissue (ligament and tendon injuries).
Now, during PRP therapy, we take a small amount of blood from your arm (similar to any standard blood draw) and place your blood into a centrifuge for about 15 minutes. The centrifuge spins your blood at high speeds to separate out the various components (including platelets), the red blood cells are removed, and the platelets are recombined with the liquid portion (plasma) to create a highly concentrated mixture.
This solution is then re-injected into the injured area, where it begins to work its “magic,” releasing growth factors that boost natural tissue healing.
Note the “natural” part of this treatment method. This is one of the many benefits that sets PRP therapy apart from other injection treatments, like cortisone (a synthetic anti-inflammatory medication that decreases inflammation but does not heal injured tissues). The use of PRP is as natural as it gets. It’s literally just your own blood.
Some Common Questions Answered
As a fairly modern form of regenerative medicine, we understand that patients usually have many questions when it comes to PRP therapy. Is there a recovery period? When can I expect to see results?
We have the answers.
What conditions are treated with PRP therapy?
Most forms of regenerative medicine (including PRP) are used to re-stimulate a chronic condition back into the healing process, but it can also be used after athletic injuries or surgery to decrease inflammation and speed up healing.
Conditions treated with PRP therapy include:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendinitis
- Lateral ankle instability
- Posterior tibial tendinitis
- Cartilage injuries (OCD), and more.
What does recovery look like?
This is yet another advantage of PRP therapy – patients are allowed to continue limited physical activity immediately following the treatment! This is a huge step up compared to common foot and ankle surgeries, where recovery time can easily range from a few days to even months.
For those being treated for more severe conditions, we may recommend limiting motion or weight-bearing activity for a day or two following the injection. However, usually patients can gradually return to all normal physical activities within 3-7 days after therapy. The return to full activity is determined based on response to the treatment.
Though you may experience mild pain and/or irritation around the area for several days following the injection, most patients report feeling no side effects whatsoever.
When can you expect to see results?
You should keep in mind that every patient is different and, even for those diagnosed with the same condition, what the treatment and recovery process looks like greatly depends on the needs and goals of the specific patient.
We will discuss this in depth once we have accurately diagnosed your condition and assessed the severity of your situation. However, in broader terms, most patients notice that they are healing faster and more effectively after just a few weeks!
How many treatment sessions do you need?
Determining this is also dependent on your specific case. If you are using PRP therapy as a part of a surgical plan, then a one-time treatment may be all you need. On the other hand, if you are using PRP therapy to aid in the healing process of a tissue injury, then you may get the most benefit from a series of treatments.
But, overall, many patients get maximum results from just three PRP treatment sessions (or fewer).
Visit Our Office Today to Get the Relief You Need With PRP Therapy!
The bottom line is that you don’t have to suffer in silence from painful foot or ankle conditions for fear of what treatment might entail. With the many advances in regenerative medicine, you are now able to get the relief you have been looking for – and very possibly without the need for surgery!
So if you experience pain or injury to the foot or ankle, give us a call at (512) 593-2949 to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists today. You can also take advantage of our handy request form online to have one of our staff members reach out to you.