By Frank Alberta

PRP Helps Throwing Athletes with Partial Ulnar Collateral Ligament Tears

Interesting news for the use of Platelet Rich Plasma, a new injectable, non-surgical technique to stimulate healing of chronic soft-tissue injuries of the knee, shoulder, elbow and ankle joints.

A new study presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine 2012 conference reported 94% of pitchers who underwent platelet rich plasma injections for partial ulnar collateral ligament tears in the elbow returned to play without surgery. The ulna collateral ligament provides elbow stability during throwing and can sometimes result in the need for “Tommy John” surgery.

The study of 17 athletes with an average age of 25 was another promising sign for PRP, a technique that is administered in the office. A number of high profile professional athletes have under gone the treatment for various types of injuries. Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguex, and Troy Polamalu are just a few of the many athletes that have tried PRP treatments for chronic injuries.

A small amount of blood is taken from the patient, placed into a centrifuge that concentrates the “healing portion” of the blood into a “super fluid” containing the platelets and growth factors. It is than reinjected into the problem area, sometimes guided by ultrasound.

Platelets are found in our blood and are responsible for clotting to prevent excessive bleeding. The platelets are also the main source of cytokines and other growth factors, which regulate healing and tissue regeneration in the body.

We are committed at North Jersey Orthopaedic Clinic to making our patients’ shoulders, elbows and knees younger and, hopefully, avoiding surgery.

Schedule an appointment and we can discuss whether PRP is an option for you.

Stay young!

Dr. Alberta

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