Are you suffering from chronic pain of the elbow, knee, achilles or heel? If so, it could be due to a degenerative condition known as tendonopathy. Tendonopathy occurs when tendon attachments are injured from repetitive use and do not heal properly. With these injuries tendons incur microscopic tears at their attachment sites and are not able to heal properly due to inadequate blood supply. These tendons subsequently develop scar tissue and become painful.
Common forms of this problem include lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow), patella tendonopathy (jumper’s knee), achilles tendonopathy and plantar fasciitis. Until recently there have been limited treatment options. Many of these problems will respond to physical therapy, but when they do not, patients will either have to live with the problem or undergo surgery to address the problem.
In the last few years PRP (platelet rich plasma) has been shown to be an effective treatment for these conditions. PRP is a component of the patient’s blood that can be injected into the injured tissues to initiate a healing response. PRP is obtained by drawing a sample of the patient’s blood and centrifuging (spinning) it to separate the different components of the blood. The platelet rich component contains a high concentration of the blood cells known as platelets.
Platelets contain many of the growth factors that are necessary for healing. By delivering a high concentration of platelets to the injured area, these tissues can heal and the pain associated with the condition is alleviated.
To find out if you are a candidate for this novel treatment option, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jones.