Foot pain is common and often improves with conservative measures. When foot pain becomes chronic and interferes with daily activities and an active lifestyle, PRP therapy may provide the relief you seek.
PRP therapy has the potential to relieve painful foot conditions, including:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Big toe arthritis
- Achilles tendinitis
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the connective tissue on the bottom of your foot, that attaches your heal bone to your toes. Plantar fasciitis symptoms include stabbing pains and tenderness. It is the most common cause of heal pain in adults. Treatment options include orthotics, splints, stretching and medications, surgical release, and extracorporeal shock wave therapy. Nonsurgical treatment includes cortisone injections, but these have the potential to cause a rupture of the plantar fascia.
PRP therapy appears to be a viable option for reducing pain and improving function in chronic plantar fasciitis. Some studies report that PRP therapy is superior to corticosteroids, especially considering the improved safety profile of PRP.
Big Toe Arthritis
Big toe arthritis is a progressive deterioration of the joint cartilage causing the bones to rub together, resulting in pain, swelling, stiffness, difficulty walking and pushing off with the toes. PRP therapy may be helpful to reduce pain and inflammation, and potentially slow the deterioration. Recent research indicates PRP therapy is safe and provides good symptomatic relief for arthritis.
Achilles Tendinopathy (tendon injury)
Achilles tendinopathy is a common source of foot pain caused by overuse, frequently found in runners. Symptoms include pain, swelling and impaired function. Tendon injuries may heal on their own with conservative management including rest, activity modifications, physical therapy and specific exercises.
However, the Achilles tendon has only limited ability to heal itself, partly due to a poor blood supply. Surgery is the most common treatment for a partial tear of the Achilles tendon.
PRP therapy for Achilles tendinitis has been reported to provide sustainable pain relief.
When symptoms fail to resolve within 6 months, PRP therapy may improve pain and function.
What is Platelet – rich Plasma?
Blood is primarily plasma, the liquid that contains red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Platelets are best known for their blood clotting ability, but platelets are a natural reservoir of hundreds of biologically active proteins called growth factors that play a key role in wound healing and tissue repair. When there is an injury or inflammation, platelets flood the area to stop bleeding, and heal damaged tissues.
PRP is a solution made by concentrating platelets, and growth factors to increase potency. Increased concentrations of platelets and growth factors boost the body’s repair mechanisms and shorten recovery. PRP harnesses the power of your body’s natural healing abilities to promote healing, and regenerate tissues that help you recover quickly.
How is PRP made?
A small amount of your blood is collected and prepared to separate the platelets from the other blood components. The concentrated platelets and growth factors are
combined with the remaining blood and local anesthetic, for your comfort.
The PRP Procedure
The PRP solution is injected in to the injured area, often under ultrasound guidance. The activated growth factors stimulate the release of repair cells to accelerate the healing process and provide symptom relief.
Side effects are minimal and may include pain at the site of injection that can last for a few hours or days and swelling that resolves within a few days. After treatment a patient will be advised to rest and avoid exercise for a time.
Generally, it can take up to a month to experience pain relief which will improve over the course of 3-6 months after treatment. However, the recovery period is determined by the type and severity of injury.
PRP therapy offers pain relief without the risks of surgery, anesthesia, and a long recovery. In some cases, PRP therapy is an alternative to surgery; and in some cases, it is used during surgery.
PRP therapy stimulates and accelerates tissue repair and healing, without invasive procedures and the associated risks. PRP therapy may significantly improve your function and quality of life, so you can get back to the life you love.
Is PRP therapy safe?
PRP therapy is very safe. It is not a drug. Because it is made from your own blood and injected into the site of your injury or degeneration, there is no risk of adverse reaction, or disease transmission.
How does PRP work?
PRP injections soak injured cells in the concentrated plasma and the numerous growth factors to enhance one or more phases of bone and soft tissue healing. PRP also enhances proliferation of stem cells and fibroblasts to boost healing and regeneration of damaged tissues.
Studies show that the increased concentration of growth factors catalyze the body’s repair mechanisms and shorten recovery time.
Benefits of PRP Therapy
PRP therapy reduces inflammation, relieves pain, promotes repair, increases collagen production for firmer and more resilient cartilage, enhances blood flow to deliver nutrients that support healing, and recruits and supports stem cells to regenerate tissues. PRP restores normal healing mechanisms and accelerates repair of damaged tissues.
The result is improved pain relief without the risks of cortisone injections, surgery, anesthesia, and a long recovery. Most patients can resume their work and activities immediately after treatment. In some cases, PRP therapy is an alternative to surgery.
Because PRP is made from your own blood, there is no risk of adverse reaction, allergy or disease transmission. Side effects are minimal and may include pain at the site of injection that usually lasts for a few hours and swelling that resolves within a few days.
Is PRP right for me?
When conservative methods fail to relieve pain and restore function, PRP therapy can help you heal with minimal scarring and halt tissue degeneration. It is a fast, painless procedure that takes just a few hours from start to finish.
Our physicians are specially trained in the procedures and preparation of PRP. Physicians Rehabilitation has locations in Fort Myers, Lady Lake, Naples, Port Charlotte and Sun City Center Florida for convenient, high-quality specialized sports-medicine and orthopedic services. Contact us to learn about how PRP therapy can benefit you.
Ramos-Pascua LR, et. al.
Clinical and imaging effects of corticosteroids and platelet-rich plasma for the treatment of chronic plantar fasciitis: A comparative non-randomized prospective study.
Foot and Ankle Surgery, V24:1 (February 2018) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fas.2018.01.005.
Henning RP, Grear BJ Platelet- rich plasma in the foot and ankle. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Med. 2018 Dec; 11(4): 616–623.
Mlynarek RA. Am J Orhtop. 2016 May;45(4):290-294,326.