PRP Therapy for Runners' Injuries Runners are at special risk for a variety of injuries, especially injuries affecting the hips, knees, and ankles. While running can cause bone problems, it is more likely to injure tendons, muscles, and other soft tissues. Quad tears are common soft tissue injuries that can debilitate runners. PRP, or platelet rich plasma therapy helps the body repair soft tissue injuries and is therefore one of the most effective new therapies available to runners and other active people. Anatomy of a Quad Tear The phrase “quad tear” is a short way to describe a tear of the quadriceps tendon, which work with the quadriceps muscles in the front of the thigh to straighten the leg. The quadriceps tendon attaches the quadriceps muscles to the kneecap. While anyone can injure this tendon, quad tears are most common among middle-aged people who play sports that require a great deal of running or jumping. Quad tears can be partial or complete. A complete tear splits the soft tissue of the quadriceps tendon into two pieces; in a complete tear, the muscle is no longer attached to the kneecap so the leg will not straighten when the quadriceps muscles are contracted. A partial tear does not cause complete separation – a partial tear is similar to a rope stretched to the point where its fibers are torn but the rope remains in one piece. Orthopedic surgeons use MRIs to diagnose quad tears and determine the extent of damage. While complete quad tears require surgery, PRP therapy is safe and effective for partial tears. PRP for Quad Tears PRP therapy draws upon the healing powers of platelets present in every person’s blood. In years past, doctors used to think platelets’ only role was to stop bleeding. Today, scientists know that platelets contain growth factors, which are hundreds of different types of proteins that are important to the healing process. Platelets can even recruit other healing proteins and growth factors to the injured area. PRP earns its name Plasma Rich Plasma because it has more platelets than is normally found in human plasma.
When a muscle, ligament or tendon becomes torn, strained, the area around it may bleed. This blood flow brings platelets and other healing factors to the injured area in a way that allows healthy collagen fibers to form. Collagen fibers must have the proper organization and arrangement to provide the support the injured tissue needs during recovery. The formation of scar tissue can disrupt this organization and collagen fiber arrangement in a way that promotes poor healing, resulting in pain or reduced function even after a lengthy recovery phase. PRP therapy delivers the platelets precisely to the injured areas to allow the healing process to continue, even in tightly packed collagen fibers. Orthopedic surgeons can inject PRP directly into many types of injury sites, such as partial quad tears. Once injected, PRP goes right to work to heal injured tissues. PRP therapy offers hope and reassurance to runners who worry about debilitating injuries, especially quad tears and other wounds that can stop runners in their tracks. Runners and other athletes with injuries who have not found relief with other traditional therapies should consult qualified PRP therapists to learn more. For more information visit us at http://www.stemcellorthopedic.com