What Is Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Platelet-rich plasma therapy (abbreviated as PRP) is a regenerative treatment for Plantar Fasciitis that consists of an injection of your own platelets to trigger the body’s natural repair and regeneration processes. PRP is effective in the treatment of several musculoskeletal conditions, including injury of tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. PRP injections have been replacing traditional surgery for many orthopedic conditions ranging from soft tissue injuries (tendonitis, ligament injuries, muscle tears) to joint disorders, such as a meniscus tear or mild to moderate joint arthritis.
PRP therapy takes advantage of the fact that platelets have an important role in the process of wound and soft tissue healing, particularly when inflammation has developed. PRP therapy requires only a small amount of your own blood. This sample is centrifuged to obtain a fraction that has a high concentration of activated platelets—the platelet-rich plasma fraction. The PRP is then injected into the injured tissue to promote its healing.
Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Overview
We perform this procedure using ultrasound imaging to guide the injection. Ultrasound guidance increases the accuracy of the PRP administration, which may decrease pain following the procedure. Patients lay in a supine position. Skin of the heel is disinfected with betadine. For the PRP group, after injecting 1-ml of local anesthesia (mepivacaine) PRP is injected into the tenderest area. As soon as the needle is out, we place a bandage over the injected area. The patient will be observed for 10 min and then discharged. In general, PRP therapy requires only one session, but depending on the clinical characteristics of your Plantar Fasciitis, additional injections may be needed.
Before and After the Procedure and the Risks
Before the Procedure
No special preparations. Stop blood thinner and non-steroidal medications.
After the Procedure
Patients are not allowed to bear weight for 3 days. They were advised to wear comfortable shoes, and avoid running and other high impact activities for 10 days. A standard stretching program for plantar fascia was given to all patients. As PRP effectively induces an inflammatory response, some patients experienced minimal to moderate discomfort following the injection which may last for up to 1 week. Patients are instructed to ice the injected area if needed for pain control and modify activity as tolerated. We recommended acetaminophen as the optimal analgesic, and avoided use of NSAID’s throughout our 3 month follow up period as they exhibit anti-platelet and anti-coagulant effects, which may diminish the effectiveness of PRP.