Sports injuries are a common problem, where various types of musculoskeletal injuries can occur during physical activities. These injuries can either be acute or chronic in nature. In athletes, such injuries can pose a risk to their careers, which makes it essential for the physicians to provide the most appropriate treatment. It is mandatory to provide a prompt, safe and quick treatment that can restore the athlete’s preinjury level of participation in sports.
Various treatment approaches are present for treating sports injuries. The use of intra-lesion blood injection is being made for addressing musculoskeletal injuries. An easy and minimally invasive method of using concentrated autologous growth factors in treating sports injuries is the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP). It is a fraction of the blood plasma that contains a higher concentration of platelets than normal plasma, along with growth factors.
- PRP is used in the treatment of both soft tissue and bone injuries. Growth factors have a positively influencing effect on the healing process of connective tissue components.
- There is a huge difference between the anatomy and functions of tendons, ligaments, muscles and joint capsules. Hence, the site of injection of PRP also varies.
- The cellular tension in the tissue and the collagen structure is affected after the administration of PRP.
- Use of PRP is popular in the treatment of an Achilles tendon. For injecting PRP, an ultrasound scan is done, the site of injection is accurately identified and then PRP is administered.
- Proper location of the site of injury and deciding the accurate injection zone prior to the injection of PRP makes it easier to facilitate treatment and eliminate discomfort.
- Administration of PRP should be considered secondary to physical therapy and other conservative means of treatment.
- Enthesopathy is a discomfort in the area where the attachment of tendons, ligaments and the articular capsule is present. The use of PRP is increasing in the treatment of this condition. It has an inflammatory nature and presents as epicondylitis or capsulitis.
- Studies have proved that PRP is an effective alternative to injection of steroids for an anti-inflammatory effect. Steroids majorly provide only symptomatic relief, whereas PRP is more definitive.
- PRP has also found increased use in the area of surgical procedures of knees. It is used to increase the efficiency of the healing grafts placed in the knee during reconstructive surgeries.
- For the treatment of bone injuries, the use of PRP has shown an improved quality and rate of bone healing. Even in cases of an infected injury, PRP aids in healing efficiently.
- No known side effects or complications after use of PRP have been observed, which makes it a sought after option in the management of sports injuries.