The hip joint is the largest and most powerful joint in the body. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 7% of Americans suffer from hip pain. Women frequently suffer with hip pain commonly due to overuse, osteoarthritis or injury.
Platelet – rich plasma therapy is beneficial to enhance healing of numerous musculoskeletal conditions including osteoarthritis, tendinopathy, and cartilage damage and tears. PRP is commonly used to augment conservative treatment or when conservative therapy fails, and in the surgical treatment of the hip joint.
In professional athletes PRP therapy is used to reduce pain and improve function from labral tears and chronic tendinopathies of the hamstring and other muscles, during the season, until the athlete can undergo surgery.
The main sources of hip pain are:
- Chronic hamstring tendinitis and tendon tears
- Groin pain due to tendinopathy – either tendinitis (tendon pain) or tendinosis (a noninflammatory degenerative condition).
- Muscle strains
- Hip labral tears – tears of the cartilage that lines the rim of the hip socket caused by trauma or repetitive motions. A labral tear also predisposes the joint to post-traumatic osteoarthritis.
Conservative treatment includes pain and anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and steroid injections. Cortisone injections provide short-term symptom relief, and are often recommended for joint pain. However, cortisone injections inhibit the body’s natural healing ability, and can actually cause degeneration of the soft tissue and bone loss with long-term use.
Chronic hamstring tendinopathy
When PRP therapy was compared to rehabilitation for hamstring injuries, the PRP group had significantly lower pain severity and was able to return to play in half the time required for rehabilitation alone.
In another study, PRP therapy was offered after more than 30 months of conservative treatment including cortisone injections and physical therapy. Treated patients found a 63% reduction in pain within 6 months after PRP injection.
Groin pain due to tendinopathy is often found in soccer players, equestrians, football and other sports. Adductor longus tendinopathy is the tendon that goes from the pelvis to the thigh bone. Its function is to pull the legs together. This condition is a common indication for PRP therapy.
Hip osteoarthritis (OA) is a major cause of pain, disability and impaired quality of life.
Studies report that PRP is safe and effective to provide symptom relief and repair of cartilage that is destroyed by wear and tear arthritis.
PRP is recommended for mild to moderate OA. It is more effective and durable than cortisone injections. There are no safety concerns with PRP therapy, and most people experience a permanent reduction or elimination of pain and inflammation.
PRP is helpful for acute hip inflammation due to arthritis and also due to labral tears.
PRP can reduce pain and swelling and improve recovery time.
Bursitis is inflammation of the small jelly filled sacs in the hip joint, called bursa, that lubricate the joint and reduce friction. Bursitis is caused by overuse, trauma, spine disease, arthritis, hip surgery and bone spurs.
Chronic hip bursitis is a common, and painful condition that is difficult to treat successfully. Studies report that treatment with platelet – rich plasma is significantly better than cortisone injections for pain relief and improved function, without the risks.
PRP therapy provides 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.
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.
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.
- A Hamid MS, Mohamed Ali MR, Yusof A, George J, Lee LP.
Platelet-rich plasma injections for the treatment of hamstring injuries: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Sports Med.
- Fader R, Mitchell JJ, Traub S, et al. Platelet-rich plasma treatment improves outcomes for chronic proximal hamstring injuries in an athletic population. Muscles Ligaments Tendons J. 2015;4:461-466
- Mei-Dan O, Lopez V, Carmont MR, et al. Adductor tenotomy as a treatment for groin pain in professional soccer players. Orthopedics. 2013;36:e1189-e1197.
- Battaglia M, Guaraldi F, Vannini F, et al. Efficacy of ultrasoundguided intra-articular injections of platelet-rich plasma versus hyaluronic acid for hip osteoarthritis. Orthopedics. 2013;36:e1501-e1508.
- Kraeutler MJ., Et al. The use of platelet-rich plasma to augment conservative and surgical treatment of hip and pelvic disorders. Muscles, Ligaments and Tendons Journal 414 2016;6 (3):409-419
- Hamilton BH, Best TM. Platelet-enriched plasma and muscle strain injuries: challenges imposed by the burden of proof. Clin J Sports Med. 2011;21:31-36.
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “Platelet-rich plasma treatment more effective than cortisone for severe hip bursitis.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140314093747.htm>.