PRP or platelet rich plasma injections have been at an all-time high the last few years. More and more research is coming out about these amazing regenerative injections and how they can help support a body to naturally heal. One of the areas that has shown to significantly help a candidate for this procedure is for regenerating meniscus injury.
So, what is PRP Therapy?
PRP therapy is a process where a specific fraction of a patient’s own blood is used. First, blood is drawn from a patient then it is placed into a centrifuge to separate out different layers of the blood. Once the blood is spun the PRP fraction can be isolated and collected into a syringe for localized injections to promote healing. This is a perfect for a meniscus injury.
Within the PRP there are many agents that have strong regenerative properties. These include growth factors, platelets, extracellular matrix and other cell signaling portions like exosomes. These are inherently in our blood to help naturally regenerate tissues and signal a healing cascade to commence. In essence we are utilizing and concentrating our bodies own healing capabilities into targeted areas for treatment. For a meniscus injury PRP injections can be placed right to the site to help stimulate regeneration of the tissue.
Many people today are looking for alternative to surgery and at times are not quite candidates for this type of invasive treatment. So, they are left to look for other options and conventionally there haven’t been many besides steroid injections which ultimately degenerate the tissue more over time. PRP injections for areas such as a meniscus injury can help provide a new option to fill this gap.
So, what is the process for getting PRP injections for a meniscus injury?
First, the patient needs to be accessed by the practitioner. During this time a thorough history is taken to understand the whole process that has happened up until this point to the damaged knee. Next the doctor will often perform palpitation to the area and also perform orthopedic tests in order to more properly understand the injury from a physical exam perspective. Next, often images will be ordered if they have not been done already. Typically, this is in the form of an MRI to more properly understand the extent of soft tissue damage including the meniscus.
Once the initial visit is completed a plan can be put together in order to start the process. Often a patient will need between 3-6 treatments of PRP in order to get the desired results. Each one of these treatments is typically done one 2-4 weeks apart to keep signaling the body to heal this specific area.
Is there anything else that can be done alongside these treatments to help with PRP injections for a meniscus injury?
This is the great part about working with a naturopathic doctor when it comes to aiding in the recovery of a meniscus injury. Looking at the body as a whole and increasing vitality can help ensure better outcomes. This often includes dietary changes, supplements, herbs and other treatment modalities that can be combined to make sure the body is in its optimal state to promote healing and decrease inflammation.
Which supplements are often given alongside the treatment? This is a question that we often get. Typically, nature anti-inflammatories and products that support natural healing of soft tissue are given. These may include the following:
So, when are results seen?
Every patient responds different to these procedures and also depends on the extent of their damage, age, overall health and much more. However, after each injection the patient typically will start to notice some changes within a few weeks of the procedure. Each injection in the series will keep building on itself and overtime the goal is to restore function and anatomy of the site treated.
Often along with the patient experiencing reduced pain, improved range of motions and overall better quality of life follow-up imaging is often performed. This gives us the ability to have objective data to follow the course of treatment and see how the anatomy is changing over the progression of the treatment series. In terms of a meniscus injury with PRP injections the goal here would be to see less degeneration and improvement of the meniscus tissue. Many of our patients love seeing this as often they were told in the past, they could not regenerate their tissue, but these images often show otherwise and stun a lot of imaging doctors.
What makes Tulsi PRP Injections different?
One of the biggest factors that separates Tulsi from other regenerative providers is the holistic approach our doctors take. We will spend time interviewing you to understand you as a whole. A program will often be put together to make sure the body is at its most vital state in order to ensure better outcomes of the procedure. This means we will also look into other factors that will support a better outcome for this procedure. Some of these include overall inflammation control, diet and nutrition, hydration, exercise program, stress and much more.
Our ideology is why inject PRP into an environment that is not ideal for healing. This is what most providers do. They will simply just inject the knee and you are in and out of the office in a few minutes. We believe there is more to healing an injured meniscus than just this.
Is everyone a candidate?
Well, there are some limitations. Highly advanced meniscus injuries and tears are more complicated to treat. PRP may still be a viable option but the proper course should be accessed by your doctor. However, even when a patient needs surgery we often will still perform PRP injections after the surgery to help ensure better healing in the knee joint. This can help improve a patient’s recovery time, pain and overall range of motion of the joint.
So, what do you do to get started?
Best would be to help gather all the information you have regarding the meniscus injury. This can include history of injury, and imaging for medical reports you have, gathering a list of all your current medications and supplements. All this information can help give us more information on what has happened to date to allow for a more in-depth initial consultation. If no imaging is available this may be something that needs to be ordered depending on the severity of the injury.