A revolutionary new procedure being used by injured sports stars across the nation is now available to local athletes and others suffering from foot and ankle problems.

Laser Podiatry Associates, with offices in Frederick, Mount Airy and Germantown, is now offering "Plasma Therapy" Ė a natural healing process that takes platelets from a patientís own blood and delivers a concentrated injection directly to the problem area.

"Plasma therapy, also known as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), is an alternative to surgery and can be applied right here in the office," said Dr Kenneth Benjamin, a podiatrist with over 25 years experience and a leading proponent in his field for advanced medical practices. "Itís an injection that heals tissue, slows down degeneration, and there's little or no pain. Weíre now using PRP to treat patients who suffer from arthritic joints, sports injuries, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis, among other inflammatory ailments."

Numerous football and baseball players have used Plasma Therapy, as has golfer Tiger Woods. In a procedure that can take less than an hour, approximately 10ml of the patientís own blood is drawn and then put into a centrifuge. After five minutes the platelets are separated from the red and white blood cells to make the PRP, which is then redrawn using a specialized dual syringe and injected into the problem area to stimulate and accelerate bone and soft tissue healing.

"The human body has an extraordinary ability to heal itself," said Dr Jennifer Mullendore, an expert in foot and ankle reconstructive surgery, who has been with Laser Podiatry Associates since 2005. "I have been using PRP with surgical procedures to enhance healing for several years and am thrilled to be able to offer this in the office now. By enhancing the body's natural healing potential, the treatment leads to a more rapid and efficient repair of the tissue to a healthy condition."

Itís that natural healing process that is behind the science of Plasma Therapy. Platelets are small, colorless cell fragments that are formed in the bone marrow and pass constantly through the blood stream. With a PRP injection, the platelets gather at the site of an injury and release a highly concentrated amount of beneficial proteins called growth factors which stimulate the healing environment.

"Reports presented to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons have noted the positive effects and promise of this procedure," said Dr Benjamin. "While longer term studies continue, weíre already receiving excellent feedback from our patients and the fact that insurance companies are now recognizing the procedure means that we can offer an increasing number of people a practical, effective and lasting method of relief from foot and ankle pain."


A Patient's Guide to Natural Healing
ling after an injury involves a well-orchestrated and complex series of events where proteins in the blood act as messengers to regulate the entire process. Many proteins involved in the healing process are derived from small cell fragments in the blood called platelets.

Platelets are small, colorless, cell fragments present in the blood. They are formed in the bone marrow and are freely passing through the bloodstream in a resting state. However, when an injury occurs, the platelets become activated and start to gather at the injury site to release beneficial proteins called growth factors. This is the beginning of the healing process. :

For many years, blood components derived from the patient and then delivered to the site of injury have created growing interest for use in orthopaedic procedures. New research and technology has expanded the application of this therapy for use in orthopaedic procedures.

What is Autologous Conditioned Plasma (ACP)?
Autologous Conditioned Plasma is a concentration of plate
lets and growth factors created from a small amount of your own blood. Increased levels of growth factors improve signaling and recruitment of cells to an injury site and optimize the environment for healing. Often referred to as platelet rich plasma (PRP), this treatment has been used to assist in the treatment and recovery of injuries.

How does the ACP process work?
Your health care provider will recover a sma
ll amount of blood from your arm using a small needle and a specially designed syringe. The blood then goes through a rapid spinning process that separates and concentrates the platelets and other beneficial growth factors from the blood. The plasma containing these platelets and growth factors are then applied to the treatment area. The entire ACP production process is usually done in less than 20 minutes.

Am I a candidate for treatment with ACP?
Speak with your physician and ask if ACP is the right treatment for you. Your physician will perform an examination to make a determination if the use of ACP will benefit you based on your injury. If you are on anti-inflammatory medications or blood thinners, your physician may temporarily discontinue the use of these until your treatment has taken place.

What are the risks associated with this treatment?
ACP uses your body's own natural properties to treat your injury. Side effects utilizing PRP systems are very uncommon.

Will my insurance cover this procedure?
While PRP treatments have been around for many years, many insurance companies still consider this treatment experimental and deny coverage. Your physician's office will contact your insurance company to confirm if they will cover this procedure. If your insurance will not cover the treatment, your physician may discuss other options.

* The Double Syringe (ACP) System is used to facilitate the safe and rapid preparation of autologous platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) from a small sample of blood at the patient's point of care. The PRP can be mixed with auiograft and allograft bone prior to application to an orthopaedic surgical site as deemed necessary by the clinical use requirements.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy: Natural Regenerative Healing
By Michael W. Wolff, M.D.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
PRP Report

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