Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy for the Foot and Ankle
Foot and ankle injuries can have a serious impact on your lifestyle and your overall health. When it is painful to stand or walk, it becomes impossible to exercise or even undertake daily activities at your usual level. Finding ways to speed up healing can help get you back to full health and independence faster. One technique we use at Corona Foot & Ankle to facilitate recovery after injury or surgery is PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy.
What is PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) Therapy?
Plasma is the clear liquid component of your blood, which carries the various types of blood cells around your body as your blood circulates. Platelets are blood cells that help your blood clot when you suffer an injury, but that also contain growth factors to help stimulate healing and cell regeneration. Platelet-rich plasma is simply your body’s own plasma, processed to concentrate the platelets and filter out other kinds of cells.
To create PRP, we first draw a small amount of blood, similar to what you might have taken for lab tests. That blood is spun in a centrifuge to separate the plasma and platelets from the red and white blood cells. The process takes about 15 minutes, after which the plasma/platelet combination is injected back into the injured area or the surgical site.
PRP injections are conducted under local anesthesia and may be used in conjunction with ultrasound to guide injection placement more precisely. The procedure is quick, easy, and relatively painless. Depending on your individual foot or ankle problems, a single injection may be enough to jump-start healing, or we may recommend one or more follow-up injections.
The Advantages of PRP
PRP is designed to harness your body’s own healing ability by focusing the natural growth factors that promote regeneration exactly where they’re needed most. Because the injection is made from components of your own blood, the risk of an allergic reaction is virtually eliminated. The therapy accelerates healing and stimulates an anti-inflammatory response that is beneficial for chronic injuries as well as acute problems. For some patients, it can even serve as an effective alternative to surgical treatment.
Foot and Ankle Conditions PRP Can Help Treat
PRP therapy can be a helpful component of treatment for a variety of foot and ankle issues, including:
- Tendon injuries
- Achilles tendonitis
- Ligament injuries
- Plantar fasciitis
PRP can also be used as part of your recovery protocol following foot or ankle surgery to improve healing and long-term outcomes.
What to Expect After PRP
Following your PRP injection, you’ll need to rest for a few days. Depending on the nature of your condition, you may be prescribed an immobilizing device like a boot or brace for your foot or ankle to stabilize it while it heals. You may also be given a regimen of physical therapy to strengthen the area as it heals. You should follow post-injection instructions carefully for the best possible results.
To find out more about how PRP could fit into your treatment plan, contact Corona Foot & Ankle here.