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Treating Sports Injuries with PRP Injections

Primary care sports medicine physician Dr. Marjorie Delo of HFM’s Lakeshore Orthopaedics now offers platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) injections. This relatively new technique is used to treat sports and chronic injuries, promoting the healing process by utilizing a patient’s own blood and re-injecting it where needed.

Explains Dr. Delo: “When a person is injured, blood platelets trigger the body’s natural healing response. The growth factors found in platelets are released when the body’s tissues are harmed. Some tissues do not have an adequate blood supply, and do not heal well. PRP injections allow us to concentrate platelets from a person’s own blood and activate them to promote healing in these tissues. We inject them back into the part of the body that has been injured or damaged to trigger healing. It can be used in tendon, ligament, or joint injury.”

For the patient, she adds, it means treating individuals with an injury in a way that is less invasive and less risky, resulting in a faster, less painful recovery. "I performed many of these procedures in my prior practice, and have seen great results in injuries that were not responding to our classic treatments."

PRP injection therapy involves drawing the patient’s blood, which is placed in a centrifuge. The PRP is extracted using a multi-step process. After the platelets are concentrated, Dr. Delo then injects them into the damaged or injured part of the body using ultrasound for guidance.

Dr. Delo also uses musculoskeletal ultrasound for other in-office procedures. “Ultrasound often sees details that MRI or CT can miss and can image tendons, muscles, nerve or ligaments well. Often, the structure causing pain or dysfunction can more easily be identified when ultrasound is used as part of the physical exam, rather than as a separate test.”

In addition to PRP injections, she uses ultrasound guidance for joint injections, tendon sheath injections and nerve blocks. Aspirations can also easily be performed, as can lavage of calcific deposits such as in calcific tendonitis, or assistance for removal of foreign bodies.

Dr. Delo is an instructor of musculoskeletal ultrasound in courses throughout the country. Additionally, she has training in prolotherapy, which is an injection of an irritant solution to cause tightening of loose ligaments or connective tissue in cases of instability.

With a fellowship in sports medicine, Dr. Delo specializes in the nonsurgical treatment of orthopaedic injuries and pain, offering comprehensive care for sports-related injuries. She is trained in the treatment of medical conditions such as exercise-induced asthma, cardiac problems in athletes, concussions, and exercise in pregnancy, as well as the evaluation of joint pain and myofascial pain. She also runs HFM’s Sports Concussion Clinic.

For more information on sports injuries and treatment or Dr. Delo and Lakeshore Orthopaedics, visit www.hfmhealth.org/delo or call 320.5241.