What if you could use your own blood to eliminate pain and promote healing?
You can! Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center uses an innovative, non-surgical method to treat our patients’ foot and ankle injuries – using the patient’s own blood. It’s called Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy. Dr. Wilhelm uses it to relieve pain and speed up recovery time of chronic conditions such as posterior tibial tendonitis, heel pain, and osteoarthritis.
PRP is prolotherapy
PRP therapy is a type of prolotherapy, which is the overarching name for the injection of solutions meant to speed up the healing process. Dr. Wilhelm applies prolotherapy as a safe way to treat persistent pain of certain foot and ankle injuries. He might also consider using it as a healing aid after foot or ankle surgery.
How PRP works
It is important to know a little bit about blood in order to understand PRP therapy. The liquid part of blood is called plasma and the solid components are red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Dr. Wilhelm begins by drawing blood from a patient. He then isolates the platelets and returns a higher concentration of platelets back into the plasma through a process called centrifugation (spinning the blood in a centrifuge – a fast-spinning container). The new blood is richer in platelets than the blood he began with.
What’s so great about platelets?
Platelets are rich in proteins that aid the healing process. The theory behind Platelet-Rich Plasma injections is that we’re adding blood with a high percentage of platelets exactly where it’s needed – directly into damaged tissue, such as a torn tendon or stretched ligament, or a diseased joint that’s been slow to heal.
Prolotherapy and PRP injections are examples of the kind of innovative and state-of-the-art treatments that active folks and athletes can expect from our board-certified podiatrist. Make an appointment with Dr. Wilhelm online, or call us at our office in Centreville, VA at (703) 996-3000 to see if you’re a candidate for this unique approach to managing foot and ankle pain.