The benefits of PRP in sport

Categories : All about PRP
Knee pain.

PRP is primarily found in the medical and aesthetic fields, particularly in plastic surgery, orthopedics, and dermatology.

In recent times, it has been playing an increasingly important role in the world of sports.

It's worth noting that 64% of French people engage in sports at least once a week (which is approximately 43 million people), and there are more than 16 million sports license holders in France.

Over the past 15 years, there has been a significant increase in the use of PRP in sports medicine, primarily for lower limb injuries.

Injuries are common among athletes and can sometimes take a long time to heal. PRP has therefore become a prominent player in this field, both in the professional and amateur sports worlds.

The benefits of PRP

The sports world shows great interest in the use of PRP.

This is due to the observed benefits of the growth factors provided by platelets. Indeed, injured athletes seek above all to recover as quickly as possible to their pre-injury performance levels.

PRP is therefore a new alternative to help them recover as quickly as possible.

Platelets secrete growth factors with healing properties that regenerate and heal injuries faster than basic treatments, with a reduced risk of recurrence.

Concretely, the injection of autologous PRP active ingredients acts on muscle injuries (such as tears), torn tendons, ligaments, damaged cartilage, and joints.

This injection triggers their repair, which results in the healing of the damaged limbs.

This autologous technique using the individual's own blood protects them from any allergic risks. It ensures biocompatibility and avoids the transmission of infectious agents, a significant risk for athletes, especially at the elite level.

Study by Dr. Crescibene on tendinopathy

Dr. Antonio Crescibene is an orthopedic and trauma surgeon practicing at the Cosenza Hospital in Italy.

He explains that Achilles and patellar tendinopathy are among the most common diagnoses in sports medicine.

Therapeutic treatment of the condition is challenging, especially in chronic cases.

He suggests the use of Platelet-Rich Plasma as a therapeutic alternative in tendinopathies.

The choice to employ this method is based on the activity of growth factors contained in platelets, which activate, amplify, and optimize the healing process.

PRP tubes with a centrifuge in the background.

For the sake of his research, he selected 14 patients with Achilles tendinopathy and 7 patients with patellar tendinopathy, with a final follow-up of two years.

These patients underwent a cycle of three tendon infiltrations after a clinical and instrumental evaluation carried out using specific questionnaires and repeated ultrasounds.

The ultrasounds of 18 patients showed signs of reduced insertion irregularities.

The result is confirmed by complete functional recovery of the patients, with the disappearance of painful symptoms.

The patients showed a significant reduction in pain as well as an improvement in the VISA score (the VISA score is a self-questionnaire that assesses tendinopathy symptoms and their impact on physical activity; its goal is to evaluate the severity of chronic tendinopathy and can be completed in 5 minutes).

This score, after 24 months of follow-up, was equal to 84.2 points on a scale of 0 to 100.

This study provides evidence suggesting that PRP infiltration is a valid option for patients with chronic tendinopathy who have not benefited from other treatments.

Mild contraindications

PRP injection cannot be done under local anesthesia. Anesthetics alter the optimal functioning of platelets and gradually render them ineffective.

Therefore, one may experience mild pain at the injection site for a few days. Painkillers and applying ice for 15 minutes every day can help the athlete.

Conclusion

PRP is an effective alternative compared to other treatments. Its use is straightforward, easy to implement, and it also meets the needs of injured athletes. Its autologous origin allows athletes to heal more quickly by acting on muscle and tendon injuries.

These advances are confirmed by reputable studies that yield favorable results.

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