Achilles tendonitis, also known as Achilles tendinopathy is attributed to the overuse of the Achilles tendon. This is a common sports injury and one that it is also very difficult to treat since this is an area where there is poor blood circulation and cell activity.
Whenever a tendon is injured, the surrounding cells step in to assist in repair. With inadequate cell activity and blood supply, the healing process for Achilles tendonitis can be very a slow and painful process.
Luckily, a relatively new regenerative treatment is now being used to effectively treat Achilles tendonitis and this is PRP therapy. PRP stands for platelet rich plasma and these platelets are naturally occurring substances in the blood. The blood contains various components, platelets included but their quantity is normally limited.
However, scientists have come up with a technique that increases the concentration of platelets in the blood and this is done using a process known as centrifugation. Blood is drawn from the patient’s arm and placed in a centrifuge where it is separated to enhance the concentration of platelets before being injected into the body. In this case the injection site would be the Achilles tendon.
The Use of PRP in Treating Achilles Tendonitis
The success of PRP lies in the growth factors which are a group of special proteins which differentiate various cells in the body thus encouraging repair and regeneration. These growth factors can promote cell migration and the formation of cells, granulation tissue and the stimulate bone formation as well.
The platelets act as recruitment centers for fibroblasts and macrophages to steadily repair the injured Achilles tendon in the shortest time possible. The effects are easily noticeable and patients often begin to experience relief in just a month or two after undergoing the PRP injection.
In four to eight weeks, the damaged tendon gradually repairs and the patient can start to regain some function. This just goes to show why more and more professional athletes are going to this treatment. Its fast and it comes with minimum side effects since the body tissue is patient derived.
Clinical Studies Support PRP Therapy for Achilles Tendonitis
There are various clinical studies that have been published on the use of PRP therapy for Achilles tendon and many of them have yielded promising results. One such study was published in the American Association Orthopedic Surgeons website and it showed that PRP can be successful in treating chronic Achilles tendonitis. The clinical results showed clinical success in 93 percent of the patients who underwent the study.
This study included 30 patients and at just six months, 28 of 30 patients treated with PRP therapy had positive results. What’s even better is that none of these patients needed to undergo further treatment and imaging tests highlighted the normalization of the injured zone in 27 of the 30 patients. Furthermore more complications arose from the injections and all the patients were able to go back to their normal duties.
Although PRP still has a long way to go, we cannot deny the healing powers present in these platelets. Platelet rich plasma can effectively treat Achilles tendonitis.
TeleHealth is the premier stem cell clinic on the West Coast, with multiple Board Certified doctors offering the stem cell and PRP therapies. A significant amount are covered by insurance, call (888) 885-8675 for more information and scheduling today!