Platelet Rich Plasma for Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Pain Treatment
Plantar fasciitis is a very common condition of the heel. It is the most common diagnosed cause of heel pain. It will affect about 1 million people each year. Los Angeles Foot Surgeons have been using platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) therapy as a means of heel pain treatment for chronic plantar fasciitis for the last 3 years. The results have been increasingly promising with regards to decreased pain, increased activity, improved function, faster recovery, and increased strength. The use of PRP in the clinical setting is advantageous for its ease of use, relative availability, lack side effects, and tolerability, as compared to more invasive techniques.
Platelets are basic cells in our bodies that produce special proteins called growth factors. These growth factors are responsible for healing damage to tissues and wounds and clotting. When there is an injury to part of the body the platelets will rush to the area of injury to begin the healing process. This is part of what is called inflammation. This is true for a new or what is called acute injury. In cases of long standing injury or chronic injury, there is less inflammation and a low concentration of platelets around the site of injury. In effect, the injury is not being aided by healing factors because it is now an old injury.
The idea behind injections of platelet-rich-plasma is to purposefully introduce an increased concentration of the patient’s own platelets into the site of injury. Once there are more platelets around the area, there are then more healing factors in the area, creating an environment that can promote healing. Additionally, the simple act of the needle being introduced several times into the site of injury will stimulate and injure the tissue. The body will think this area is now a new injury. Effectively we are taking and old chronic injury and changing it to a new acute injury, while at the same time introducing even more platelets.
The process of acquiring the platelets is simple. Blood is drawn from the patient’s arm, in the same way one gives blood at the family doctor’s office. The patient’s blood is then spun down in a centrifuge in order to separate the platelets from the rest of the cells in the blood. The high concentration of platelets is now collected in a syringe ready to be injected into the site of injury.
Those patients that have failed conservative therapies are good candidates for platelet-rich-plasma injections. Platelet-rich-plasma as proven to be an extremely effective none surgical form of heel pain treatment.
These injections are a midway approach to help heal chronic plantar fasciitis between conservative care and surgery.
For more information see a published article at http://www.podiatrytoday.com/platelet-rich-plasma-can-it-have-impact-plantar-fasciitis
University Foot and Ankle Institute podiatrists are available for consultation at Santa Monica and Beverly Hills locations of the University Foot and Ankle Institute. For an appointment, please call University Foot and Ankle Institute toll free at (877) 989-9110.
Dr. Baravarian been involved in athletics his entire life and played competitive tennis in high school and college. He has an interest in sports medicine, arthritis therapy and trauma/reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. He servers as a consultant to the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) tour, multiple running organizations and several shoe manufacturers. He is also fluent in five languages (English, French, Spanish, Farsi and Hebrew),
Podiatrist Dr. Bob Baravarian is available for consultation at the Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks and UCLA Westwood offices.
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