Monday, November 2, 2009

The Doctors of Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

As an Orthopedic Surgeon, I help patients prevent and correct disorders of the skeletal system, muscles, joints and ligaments. I recently read an article about Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy written by a neurologist who markets the general benefits of PRP. It is of concern that when doctors work outside of their area of expertise, they oftentimes make exaggerated claims for financial gain. Patients need to be mindful of the motives when seeking PRP Therapy in the community. It seems PRP advertisements can be disguised as a legitimate clinical documents from reliable sources.

Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment simply stated is an injection of a concentrated dose of blood platelets into a soft tissue injury to catalyze the body's natural healing response and expedite recovery. These soft tissue injuries in which PRP has been shown to be effective, include tendons, ligaments, joints and muscles. The soft-tissue injury is treated by Orthopedic surgeons as Orthopedics is defined by as: "the branch of medicine that deals with the prevention or correction of injuries or disorders of the skeletal system and associated muscle, joints, and ligaments."

It is my contention that patients with injuries which could be potentially aided by PRP Therapy should consult physicians who specialize in treating those injuries: the Orthopedic Community, and not any doctor willing to administer PRP Therapy for monetary compensation. While research and clinical data show Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy is very safe and has tremendous potential as an alternative to invasive soft-tissue surgical repair of the musculoskeletal system, it is important that the patient and treating physician know the facts behind the therapy when deciding if it is right for their injury. The question to be addressed is what is the probability that it will work for each condition? It is the understanding of when to use PRP or surgery that makes the orthopaedist a valuable resources to the patient.

The origins of PRP Therapy research for musculoskeletal conditions comes from the Orthopedic community. As this is our area of expertise, it is our community that should be handling PRP Therapy consultations. Patients interested in the receiving PRP treatment for musculoskeletal conditions should not be mislead into taking it from anyone outside the Orthopedic community. The Orthopaedist is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries with invasive or non invasive techniques. Doctors practicing hybridized medical specificity, such as "neuro-orthopedics," and looking to administer PRP Therapy, should be called into question, not for an appointment.


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