PRP: The Answer to Treating Your Sports Injury

PRP: The Answer to Treating Your Sports Injury

Injury can sideline professional and recreational athletes alike. Sitting out of your chosen sport for the weeks or months necessary to heal can mean missing out on an entire season. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy offers an alternative to extended recovery and surgery. This orthobiologic treatment is safe, effective, and can have you back in the game quicker.

Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Matthew Pifer offers patients in the Santa Barbara community PRP treatment for a broad range of sports injuries, as well as joints affected by arthritis. If you’re injured, you may want to consider this innovative treatment.

What is PRP therapy? 

PRP therapy is a form of regenerative medicine that involves using a small quantity of a patient's own blood to create a concentrated source of healing platelets. Plasma is the liquid portion of your blood composed mostly of proteins, water, and enzymes. This is the portion that remains after white blood cells, platelets, and other components are moved.

Platelets contain growth factors and play a key role in activating the body’s natural healing process. Platelet-rich plasma therapy uses injections of highly concentrated platelets to accelerate healing so that you recover from injury.

As an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician, Dr. Pifer strives to restore function to damaged joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles so that you can return to performance.

How can PRP help you return to play? 

Dr. Pifer uses PRP therapy to treat a range of soft tissue sports injuries. Here are just a few ways PRP helps athletes return to sport. 

Rotator cuff injuries

Overuse injuries such as rotator cuff tears are common in sports like baseball, tennis, basketball, golf, and swimming. The repetitive arm movements in these sports increase the risk of rotator cuff injuries.

Although full rotator cuff tears typically require surgery, partial tears and inflammation in the bursa both respond especially well to PRP injections. Additionally, rotator cuff inflammation and irritation (tendinitis) respond well to PRP therapy.

Tennis elbow

PRP therapy is effective at treating lateral epicondylitis, commonly known as tennis elbow. Like most rotator cuff sports injuries, tennis elbow is caused by overuse. This painful condition is common in tennis and other racquet sports. 

When tennis elbow is characterized by inflammation of the forearm tendons and muscles. In some cases, a tiny tear occurs from repetitive arm movement. This causes pain on the outside of the elbow.

PRP injections can activate healing in this usually slow to heal injury.

ACL injuries

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are common in sports such as football, basketball, gymnastics, and lacrosse. As a key ligament in stabilizing the knee, the ACL is vulnerable to both overuse and acute injury. 

Injecting PRP into the damaged ACL stimulates cell migration and a process whereby new blood vessels form from existing blood vessels. This intensifies the healing process. Additionally, PRP therapy may eliminate the need for knee surgery for grade 1 and grade 2 ACL injuries.

PRP: the future of sports injury treatment

There’s a reason high-performing athletes like Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry turn to PRP therapy to get them back in the game. PRP therapy isn’t just for high-caliber professional athletes. Weekend warriors and recreational enthusiasts can take advantage of this future-forward sports injury treatment. 

To learn more about PRP therapy contact our Santa Barbara office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pifer. We offer in-person and telemedicine appointments, so you can receive guidance from the comfort of your home. Our team is here to meet your orthopedic needs.

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