New therapy speeds up healing process for athletic injuries

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- A treatment called platelet-rich plasma is used by famous athletes like Kobe Bryant and Tiger Woods to help speed up the healing process for overuse injuries. Now less-serious athletes can take advantage of it's benefits.

Orthopedic surgeons at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital are using PRP injections to treat injuries like tendonitis and arthritis.

"Platelets have growth factors in them and those growth factors are known to stimulate healing and that's why this works," said Dr. Matthew Panzarella, an orthopedic surgeon at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital. "With tendonitis, it is stimulating the diseased tendon to regenerate and heal."

Panzarella says the procedure is fairly simple and involves a blood draw. Platelets are extracted from the red blood cells and injected into the injured area. The therapy jump starts the healing process, and in some cases, speeds it up.

"Every aspect of orthopedics is looking at it and how it can help them, from rotator cuff repairs, to arthritis, to overuse injuries," he said.

See the news report.