An Overview of Platelet Injections for Tendonitis/Tendinosis
Tendonitis and tendinosis are common conditions found in active individuals living in the Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria and Ventura, California communities. Although tendonitis and tendinosis are commonly used interchangeably, they refer to two different disease processes. Tendonitis refers to an acute tendon inflammation due to injury or overuse, where tendinosis refers to chronic tendon degeneration due to aging and chronic overuse injuries. That being said, these two disease processes are generally treated the same way by Dr. Jervis Yau. Tendinosis can be difficult to treat du to inadequate blood supply necessary for proper healing. PRP injection therapy has the possibility of being a game-changer in athletes suffering from a chronic tendon injury. A platelet injection for tendonitis/tendinosis uses the body’s own healing abilities to help repair the damaged tendon.
What is Tendonitis and Tendinosis?
Tendons play an important role throughout the human body. The tough flexible bands of tissue connect muscles to bones. Tendonitis is most commonly caused by overuse to a tendon during repetitive work movements or sports. It is most commonly seen in patients between the ages of 40-60 years, and can cause movement to become quite painful and uncomfortable.
Even though there are numerous tendons within the human body, only some of them are prone to develop tendonitis and tendinosis. This is because the tendons are located in areas of the body where there is less abundant blood supply. Without adequate blood flowing to the injured area, the damaged tendon has a difficult time absorbing the necessary nutrients and oxygen for proper healing.
What Should I Know About PRP Injection Therapy?
PRP injection therapy, also known as platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy, is a form of regenerative medicine that combines medical technology with the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Blood is composed of four main components – red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and platelets. Medical researchers and orthopedic physicians have found that once activated, platelets release healing proteins known as growth factors. Growth factors occur naturally and are capable of stimulating cellular growth and accelerating tendon healing.
How is PRP Performed?
Dr. Yau’s overall goal of PRP injection therapy is to reduce pain and swelling associated with tendon injuries and to promote accelerated healing so patients can return to the activities they love without surgery.
PRP injections begin by harvesting approximately 15 milliliters of the patient’s own blood. After collection, the blood is spun in a centrifuge to separate the four main components of blood. Once the components are separated, the platelet rich plasma is removed and injected directly into the injured tendon, typically under ultrasound guidance. The concentrated platelets release growth factors to recruit reparative cells to help with tendon healing.
If you would like detailed information on PRP injection therapy, or would like to determine if you are a candidate for a platelet injection for tendonitis, please contact the Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria and Ventura, California orthopedic office of Dr. Jervis Yau.