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Press Releases

Orthopedic procedure at Holy Name Hospital uses patient's own blood to heal injuries

Date: 8/5/2009

Teaneck, NJ - Orthopedic surgeons at Holy Name Hospital are using a leading-edge treatment called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy to treat a wide variety of chronic orthopedic joint and tendon problems in certain patients after non-surgical options have been exhausted. Extremely safe and cost-effective, PRP has been used in cardiac cases for quite some time, surfacing in the science of orthopedic medicine in 2008.

"PRP is an established technique that we're using in a new way to treat injuries like tennis elbow, tendonitis and heel pain after physical therapy, cortisone injections, bracing and oral steroids have not given us the desired outcomes," explains Andrew Brief, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at Holy Name Hospital. "The goal of PRP is to prevent unnecessary surgery in many instances where traditionally, surgery was the patient's last option."

PRP is generally performed in the operating room under mild sedation. A small amount of the patient's blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge machine where the platelets and natural healing factors are separated from the other components. This platelet-rich plasma product is then injected into the injury site with the assistance of x-ray guidance. "Since PRP uses a patient's own tissue," notes Dr. Brief, "it is a safe way for the body to jumpstart the healing process."

Recovery is quick and with minimal pain, when compared to that after surgery. "The next day you are often sore," explains Dr. Brief, "but healing time is typically much faster than after a post-surgical protocol." Return to pre-injury athletics may take up to several weeks depending on the patient and condition being treated.

Preliminary research suggests that platelet-rich plasma therapy can be used to treat more than tendon and joint injuries. "The sky is the limit," says Dr. Brief. "It is a procedure that offers very low risk with a strong potential for reward."