PRP Injections for Foot & Ankle Pain
Coping with ongoing pain from acute injuries, chronic conditions like arthritis, or repetitive stress injuries like tendinitis can be difficult and anxiety-provoking. It’s impossible to go without pain relief, especially when these conditions affect your feet and ankles, because the discomfort interferes with your ability to walk, exercise, or undertake routine tasks essential for work and normal living. At the same time, long-term dependence on pain medication or cortisone injections can have negative side effects and lose effectiveness with repeated use.
There is an alternative to relying on pharmaceutical interventions to mask pain. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment is a natural, safe therapy that harnesses your body’s healing abilities to reduce inflammation, regenerate damaged tissue, and relieve pain. For patients wary of side effects and looking for a better answer, PRP can be an effective solution.
Pros and Cons to Traditional Medicine
When patients are coping with an injury or painful condition that is beyond the level at which over-the-counter medications and application of heat or ice packs can help, a common approach is to prescribe prescription painkillers or to administer periodic cortisone shots. Both of these interventions provide relief, which is why they are so commonly used, but with drawbacks that understandably give some patients pause.
Opioids and other powerful painkillers may be addictive and often provide decreasing pain relief over time as the body becomes habituated to them. Cortisone shots, in which a corticosteroid is injected to relieve pain and inflammation in a specific area such as a joint, have potential side effects that become more likely with larger doses and repeated use. Doctors routinely limit their use to only a few times per year due to the risks.
How PRP Is Different
Unlike a painkilling drug or steroid injection, platelet-rich plasma is a concentration of healing factors derived from your own blood in our office. It is created by first withdrawing only one vial of blood (no more than what you might have drawn for lab tests), which are then spun in a centrifuge. That process separates the plasma, the clear liquid component of your blood, and platelets, cells that help your blood clot and stimulate healing and cell regeneration, from the red and white blood cells. The concentrated platelets and plasma are injected into the injured area or painful joint under local anesthesia.
As a pain treatment, PRP works by triggering your body’s natural healing mechanisms to repair the damage, restore natural function, and reduce inflammation. Platelets release growth factors that stimulate collagen production, enhance blood flow and attract stem cells to the affected area to aid in healing. By injecting them directly into the painful joint or injured area, PRP delivers these benefits exactly where they are needed most. Inflammation is reduced, bringing down pressure and swelling and making movement easier and more comfortable. The result is long-lasting pain relief without drugs.
What to Expect with PRP
Having a PRP injection is a short, in-office procedure that is quick, easy, and relatively painless. We may use ultrasound to guide the precise placement of the injection, and we will administer local anesthesia to ensure your comfort. Because PRP is made from your own blood, it’s nearly impossible to experience an allergic reaction. You’ll receive post-injection instructions to help your recovery and allow you to derive the greatest benefit from the treatment.
PRP can be an effective part of your overall therapeutic plan for conditions such as arthritis, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and more. If you’ve found that oral pain medications and cortisone injections aren’t providing the relief you need, or if you prefer to take a natural, holistic approach to pain relief, PRP may be the solution.
At Corona Foot & Ankle, our treatment is focused on the big picture. We’re dedicated to providing care that solves your foot and ankle problems, prevents complications, and allows you to enjoy the activities you love free from pain. To find out more about PRP treatments and how they fit into the individualized foot care at Corona Foot & Ankle, contact us here.