New York sports injuries – New NonSurgical Procedure Treating Sports Injuries Involves Using Your Own Blood: PRP Therapy
May 23, 2011 9:44 am | No Comments
As the co-director of sports medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Jonathan Glashow has been at the forefront of American doctors offering platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, a new nonsurgical technique that improves healing from injuries.
In New York sports injuries are common among the best athletes in the world. For those with common sports injuries like sprained ligaments or strained muscles, PRP therapy can deliver remarkably faster healing. It involves injecting injured areas with a concoction of growth factors extracted from the patients’ own blood. “The basic idea is that we’re taking the body’s natural healing elements, concentrating them, and we’re putting them at the site of injury,” says Glashow. “We feel like it supercharges the healing process.”
Dr. Glashow who is a sports injury doctor in New York City has named four sports-injury situations where PRP therapy proves especially effective: post-surgery, ligament sprains where surgery isn’t called for but healing is slow, muscle tears/tendinitis and mild to moderate arthritis. Studies have found that in all of these scenarios, PRP therapy can cut recovery time drastically and even help healing to greater degree in areas known for slow recovery.
Hamstring tears for example are common in baseball players. Where normal healing time from a hamstring tear could take months, injecting those muscles with PRP can return benched players much more quickly. And though the therapy is still considered experimental, there is very little risk involved, since the treatment incorporates the body’s own platelets. “The thinking with PRP is that if we can find a way to help the body heal itself more quickly, we can help patients return to their lifestyles earlier,” says Glashow.
While much research has focused on the mechanical aspects of healing, this is a potential breakthrough on the biological side. Major laboratory and clinical trials are striving both to deepen doctors’ understanding of how it works and how to best administer it. “Right now there are several lab studies going on that are showing that with PRP therapy, the healing process is being sped up at the cellular level,” says Glashow. “That is the laboratory science of it – showing that this is not hokey and really does work.”
PRP is such a new therapy that there isn’t easy to find a doctor with expertise in it. Glashow advises patients to ask their orthopedic surgeon or sports-medicine specialist if they offer this therapy; if these specialists don’t, they can give you a referral.