The following was submitted to us from a patient suffering from achilles tendonosis in his ankle.
What was your injury that was treated with prp?
My originally injury was a partially torn achilles tendon, which then became achilles tendonosis. I also developed tendonitis in the other ankle.
Did you try any other therapy before you opted for prp treatment?
I tried everything from PT, ice, massage, various expensive orthotics and even Prolo Therapy. Prolo helped the most, but my pain persisted and would recur every couple of months.
Why did your physician decide to utilize prp for this injury?
My primary physician did not decide. Unfortunately PRP is on the fringes of modern medicine and most doctors seem to be hesitant to prescribe it. I knew the doctor who performed my PRP as he was a friend of my wife (they did their residency together). I paid out of pocket for all cost associated with the procedure.
What medical facility did your physician perform this treatment? Hospital? Physician clinic?
Did your physician have you follow a specific protocol the night before your prp treatment?
No, and this was unfortunate. I got PRP in both achilles at the same time (this is not advised, but I had extenuating circumstances that necessitated it at the time).
After the initial 3 week bedrest and little movement, I still had quite a bit of swelling. I went back to the doctor but he simply said “it will get better”. What I found, after three months, is that the swelling did not go down on its own. In fact, it wasn’t until I went and got active release massage on both achilles that it started to go down.
The massage really reduced the swelling and once it was reduced I could see that the PRP did indeed heal the achilles. I wish I had done the massage at the three week mark instead of waiting the 3 months.
Do you remember how much blood was drawn from you? After they drew the blood, how long did you have to wait before the platelet rich plasma was ready for use on your injury?
I do not remember, I was just told “it was a lot”. 45 minutes until it was ready to go.
What did the physician do to prepare the injury site for injection?
Some topical cream and then some small injections to numb the site.
Did the physician use ultrasound as a guide to place the platelet rich plasma?
How did the injection feel? Explain. And do you remember how long the prp treatment took? If you had pain, how long did the pain last? Any swelling?
The actual injections were painful, but not awful. I don’t know how else to describe it other than, it hurt quite a bit but not as much as I might have expected. That being said, they were unpleasant.
However, the next 3 days of life were excruciating. You are not quite prepared for how painful it could be. In my case, both achilles, it was nearly impossible to lay on my back. Anything touching the achilles would send pain signals shooting up my body. And, be prepared to be dependent on other people. In my case, it was hard to use the rest room (I’ll leave it at that).
This is why it is not recommended to get bi-lateral treatment.
How long did the entire visit take?
After treatment, did your physician wrap the treatment site? If not, what did he do post treatment?
Slight wrap and then sent me home with crutches.
What was your physicians post prp treatment protocol for you? Restrictions? Rest? Exercise? Stretching? Pain medication? Any specific directions you had to follow?
Rest, no exercise for 3 weeks, no stretching for 3 weeks and no pain medicine for 3 weeks.
How much was the prp treatment?
$1500 + $500 in office visits + $60 for crutches
Did the treatment work for you? If so, when did you start feeling better? How soon could you bet back to playing your sport?
Yes, overall, 18 months later, I say yes. It was not as fast for me as for some others and this bothers me. I believe in PRP and I know many professional athletes are having much success with the treatment, but when someone like me, an outlier, has severe pain and swelling 3 months post procedure, I think this should be talked about, discussed and have protocols in place to deal with it. The fact that I tried massage on my own instead of being recommended, or better yet prescribed, to shows that there is more research and education needed.
Hopefully you enjoyed this PRP Patient Experience for achilles tendinosis for ankle injury. If you have your own PRP therapy experience to share please let us know.