New breakthroughs in orthopedic treatment options focus on treating the root of the issue, rather than only addressing symptoms. PRP, or platelet-rich plasma, therapy is one such treatment, harnessing the power of the body’s healing cascade to repair and regenerate damaged tissue. Rather than using a synthetic analgesic or anti-inflammatory medication, PRP utilizes the growth factors and proteins found in one’s own plasma. These cells are injected into lesions or areas of damage to speed the repair process.
Educating doctors and surgeons about PRP and other more natural therapies may help prevent drastic surgical procedures. For example, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, approximately 600,000 total knee replacement procedures are performed each year, a statistic expected to rise in the coming decade. PRP education is important for orthopedic practitioners and other professionals, as PRP can be used instead of invasive replacement surgeries.
Recent studies show that PRP is safe and effective with a high satisfaction rate among patients with chronic tendinopathy. Tendon and cartilage lack a ready blood supply, so these areas often take longer to heal. PRP injections, however, deliver a concentrated dose of regenerative cells directly to an affected area, resulting in a higher recovery rate and amelioration of symptoms.
PRP education is thus far not found in the medical education process. To learn about PRP, physicians can instead attend seminars and trainings like those held by The Orthobiologics Institute, or TOBI. The annual seminar held by TOBI offers doctors a chance to hear PRP education pioneer Dr. Steven Sampson and other professionals discuss their use of PRP and other natural therapeutic options. Additionally, attendees receive hands-on time with musculoskeletal ultrasound guidance technology, time to practice injections on cadavers as well as the opportunity to view live-patient PRP injection demos.
Organizations like TOBI are helping to further PRP education, making it more accessible to doctors and patients alike.