A tendon is the tissue by which a muscle attaches to the bone. Tendon injuries are widespread in the adult population, particularly for people whose occupations or recreational athletic activities require repetitive motion of the shoulder, knee, elbow, or ankle joints.
Specific tendons are prone to developing tendonitis, a painful condition where the tendon becomes irritated or inflamed. Tendonitis is most often caused by repetitive overuse in training or playing sports. Inflammation can be difficult to cure and tends to heal slowly.
Traditional tendon injury and tendonitis treatments concentrate on reducing inflammation with medications or steroid injections. Surgery may be used for extreme injuries. Boulder Community Hospital now offers a safe, effective alternative treatment - Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy - that uses a person’s own blood to accelerate healing. PRP therapy can be used to repair tendonitis in the elbow, hamstring, patellar tendon, Achilles tendon and rotator cuff.
Benefits of the method include
- Shorter recovery time
- Uses the body’s natural healing process – no surgery is required
Contact our PRP specialist at 303-938-5131 to find out if you are a candidate for PRP therapy. If you have had an MRI of the affected area, please provide a copy for review.
This advanced therapy involves injecting plasma harvested from a patient’s own blood directly into the injured area. This plasma, rich in platelets, stimulates the body’s natural healing system to more quickly repair a chronic injury.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does PRP therapy heal tendonitis?
During the normal healing process, your body sends many types of helpful cells to an injury. One of the most important of these cell types is platelets that are full of growth and healing factors. These growth factor proteins stimulate cell regeneration and recruit other cells to help with repair. PRP therapy harnesses this cell-healing activity by increasing the level of platelets at the site of an injury.
Two tablespoons of a patient’s own blood are whirled in a tabletop centrifuge that separates out a half teaspoon of platelet enriched plasma. This process raises the level of platelets in plasma by 5-7 times the amount found in regular whole blood. Using ultrasound to guide the needle, the physician injects the patient’s enriched plasma into the damaged area where it super charges the healing process.
How does PRP differ from traditional tendonitis treatments?
Most traditional treatments focus on decreasing inflammation. PRP accelerates tendon repair by increasing the body’s own healing agents at the injured area.
What is a tendon?
A tendon is a tough, flexible band of fibrous tissue that connects muscles to bones. When a muscle contracts it pulls on a bone and causes movement. The tendon transmits the force of the muscle contraction to the bone.
What is tendonitis?
Tendonitis is inflammation, swelling and irritation of a tendon. The tendon’s normal smooth gliding motion becomes impaired, causing inflammation and pain with movement.
What causes tendonitis?
The most common cause of tendonitis is overuse. Tendons are nourished by blood flow that will naturally repair most injuries if the tendon is rested. Continuing to use the injured area aggravates the injury.
Tendons can also become inflamed after a traumatic injury. As with overuse tendonitis, if the body is not allowed ample time to repair the damage and inflammation, chronic tendonitis may result.
Tendonitis can also be caused by age-related changes in the tendon. As people age, tendons become less elastic and tear easier. Accordingly, tendonitis is more common in adults over age 40.
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