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Healthwise: Platelet Rich Plasma Injection

January 19, 2011

Feet help you do so many things like walk, drive, exercise - basic every daily functions. But when they're causing you pain it's hard to do much of anything.

“It's just annoying really to walk. It's hard to put your foot down. As soon as you get up in the morning you have to put a shoe on and it's been difficult having to wear a shoe with my pajamas. It's not pretty,” said patient Ida Thornton.

Thornton has been having pain in both her feet for about a year. She's had several treatments, even surgery. While her right foot is cured, the left one is still causing her pain. That's why she's seeing Martha Jefferson Hospital podiatrist and surgeon Dr. Jimmy Downing. He's getting her ready for a new procedure called Platelet Rich Plasma Injection.

“You draw the blood, spin it down , take off the top layer, which is rich with platelets that have healing factors and growth factors, and inject it into the site of injury or chronic inflammation,” said Dr. Downing.

Dr. Downing says this therapy allows patients to get all the bleeding and other factors which are good for healing just in a more concentrated solution.

“We've had a 50 percent cure rate of the patient's pain and probably 25 percent to 50 percent success rate,” said Downing.

A success rate Thornton is willing to take a chance on.

“My only other option is to have surgery again and I don't want to have that. So I'm hoping that it will be successful,” said Thornton.

In the past, Downing says this type of procedure has been helpful to patients dealing with tendon injuries, sprains, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis and more.

Now Thornton is hopeful the Platelet Rich Plasma Injection will turn her condition around and get her back on her feet doing all the things she enjoys.


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