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As good as PRP injections are for treating musculoskeletal injuries and osteoarthritis, they do not always work. There are some patients who receive a course of three or four injections but are never able to report significant improvement. Why is this? Sometimes it is because the patient’s body just doesn’t respond. Other times it’s because the doctor who provided the injections didn’t do things correctly.
Buying good PRP kits is just the first step in offering effective treatment. If PRP therapy is to work, there has to be more to it than simply buying supplies and scheduling appointments. Doctors have to know what they are doing, and they have to do things right.
Effective treatment requires screening patients prior to recommending PRP injections. As a rule, PRP therapy is reserved for patients with chronic injuries that have not responded to other treatments. An example would be someone with a chronic ligament issue now looking at surgery after trying everything else.
PRP injections are not intended for acute injuries like ankle sprains. An ankle sprain is typically an injury that heals on its own rather quickly. It does not justify the cost or discomfort of PRP injections.
How PRP material is processed also makes a big difference. Unfortunately, there are no standards doctors can look to right now. Our recommendation is to undergo comprehensive training prior to offering PRP injections, then back up that training with reliable and proven equipment. A combination of training and the right centrifuge and PRP kits is that which allows doctors to process PRP material the right way.
For example, our PRP Concentration System utilizes a processing technique that can create an injectate with up to 16 times the baseline concentration of platelets. This high concentration is what your patients need to realize maximum benefit from their injections.
Next, effective PRP treatment requires targeting the injections at the right spot. It is not enough just to inject PRP material in the general vicinity of the injury; it has to target the injury directly. This is why a competent physician will utilize imaging equipment during the injection process to ensure that the material goes to the right spot.
PRP injections are an alternative to invasive surgery and prescription pain medications; they are not an alternative to rehab. Far too many people go into PRP treatment with the mistaken notion that injections will take care of everything. They will not. PRP material encourages the body to self-heal and provides the growth factors and nutrients to kick-start the process. But rehab is still an essential part of full and complete recovery.
When PRP injections are followed by physical therapy, the goal is to treat the patient as if an acute injury had just occurred. This kind of physical therapy is driven by a very important goal: stimulating blood flow to the site of injury to encourage inflammation. Why encourage inflammation? Because it promotes healing.
If a physical therapist treats the patient with the goal of reducing inflammation or keeping it at bay, the treatment is actually working against the PRP injections. The idea is to use PRP and physical therapy together.
High-quality PRP kits are definitely a major factor contributing to the effectiveness of PRP injections. But they are only one factor. Effective treatment also requires proper patient screening, proper processing of PRP material, injecting material into the right location, and following up injections with appropriate rehab. Anything short of this can lead to a disappointing outcome.