NYC Surgeons Use PRP Therapy To Prompt Faster Foot Injury Healing Time
Posted by Jenn F. on Friday, May 4th, 2018
It took a couple decades for researchers to fully understand the mechanisms behind Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injection therapy. Now, the next few decades will focus on how to best apply the technology as part of a standard healing protocol. Places like The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine, with offices in Manhattan and White Plains, are on the leading edge. Since 2010, our NYC surgeons have performed thousands of successful rounds of PRP—particularly in patients with tendinitis and plantar fasciitis, but also in those with osteoarthritis or bursitis. In select cases, we’ve used platelets to reduce foot injury healing time.
How Does PRP Reduce Foot Injury Healing Time?
Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy involves removing a sample of the patient’s blood, spinning it in a centrifuge to separate platelets, and injecting nothing more than the enriched blood back into the body at the site of injury. The “spun” plasma has 10 times more growth factors than whole blood, which greatly expedites healing of damaged bone and soft tissue. The outpatient procedure is done in 15-20 minutes and uses topical anesthesia to numb the area where the needle goes in, so patients don’t feel a thing. Mild soreness and swelling at the injection site can be expected for the first 24-48 hours.
We recommend rest immediately following the procedure, along with a stretching and strengthening program. You may resume walking and light exercise the next day. Strenuous activity and heavy lifting should be avoided for several days following the injection. Most conditions are treated with three injections spaced at four- to six-week intervals.
Why Do NYC Podiatrists Like PRP?
“The beautiful thing about PRP,” explains Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, DPM, “is that there are no contraindications as there are with surgery. You can get PRP if you’re eight or 80. There are no adverse side effects, no risk factors, no complications reported.” In rare cases, a patient may opt to take an over-the-counter pain reliever for a couple days after the injection to deal with mild discomfort. “Tolerance levels for soreness vary from person to person,” says Dr. Geldwert. Patients are advised to avoid blood-thinning and anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin, which may interfere with the body’s healing processes.
Is PRP FDA-Approved?
Newer therapies can be exciting, yet scary, to patients. Many people come into our office after overhearing the buzz, specifically asking for PRP therapy. “It’s worth a try—better than having surgery,” they think. Regenerative medicine is best in the hands of experienced surgeons. Poor regulation has led to clinicians misusing biological components such as bone marrow, stem cells, and PRP.
Insurance companies can be very slow to evolve with the times, but one way patients can separate hype from reality is to look at the FDA’s official position. The injection of PRP is considered a medical procedure—and, therefore, is not regulated by the FDA. So far, the FDA has approved multiple devices used to separate platelets from the blood through the 510(k) clearance process.
Does PRP Work Right Away?
It’s important to understand that a Platelet-Rich Plasma injection does not provide immediate relief like a cortisone shot for pain, nor does it yield immediate structural changes like a surgical procedure. We caution patients that they may not feel much different for the first few months. Individuals heal in their own time, but by the six-month mark, you should feel substantially better. A year from now, you’ll forget you were ever suffering. That’s the beauty of regenerative medicine—and with little to no downtime.
Where To Get PRP In NYC
The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine’s offices in Manhattan and Westchester are both fully equipped to perform PRP therapies in-house. You are in the hands of experienced, board-certified foot and ankle surgeons. Typically, we recommend PRP after conducting a thorough medical examination as part of a comprehensive, custom-tailored wellness program. Among our many specialties are chronic pain conditions like plantar fasciitis and tendinitis, which PRP is well-suited to address. Contact one of our offices to learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our four healthcare professionals. No referrals necessary!
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.