Harnessing the Body’s Natural Healing Abilities

Promoting healing using your own platelets might sound a little like science fiction, but fellowship-trained physicians at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates are using this promising regenerative medicine therapy to treat painful sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions. Platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP, is growing in popularity as a low-risk treatment to decrease pain and increase function by triggering the body’s healing response and stimulating tissue regeneration.

PRP is beneficial for people of any age who have experienced a tendon injury, like tennis elbow, jumper’s knee or plantar fasciitis. It can also be helpful during the early stages of osteoarthritis in the knee, hip and shoulder, and may slow progression of the disease. “We’ve had really good results in athletes with pain from playing sports year round and people in construction trades who may have repetitive-use injuries,” explains Dr. Dominic Femiano, a sports medicine physician at Olympia Orthopaedic.

PRP is a relatively straightforward treatment. First, a patient’s blood is drawn and is separated into its parts using a centrifuge. Second, the platelet-rich plasma is extracted from the separated blood. Last, an ultrasound is used to pinpoint the problem area, and the collected plasma is injected into the precise location of the injury. The entire process is done on an outpatient basis and with local anesthesia.

Patients are able to return to daily living activities immediately after the procedure. Then, depending on the area being treated, a specific healing plan for resuming morestrenuous movements or athletics is followed. Most patients feel significantly less pain at six to 12 weeks after PRP.

“In the time that we’ve been offering PRP,” says Femiano, “we’ve seen some the best outcomes with patients who have a focal area of pain in their tendons and patients who have early, mild arthritis in their knee, hip or shoulder. PRP has allowed them to put off or not need surgery. Our goal is to keep people moving and to keep them active.”

Regenerative medicine therapies are another tool for Olympia Orthopaedic physicians to do just that.

JULIE LEYDELMEYER

For additional information:
PRP at Olympia Orthopaedic Associates
3901 Capital Mall Dr SW, Olympia
360.709.6230
olyortho.com