Podiatric Medicine is a branch of medicine devoted to the medical and surgical treatment of the foot, ankle and lower limb.
Podiatry can significantly improve peoples’ quality of life by promoting and maintaining mobility.
The scope of practice of a podiatrist ranges from:
- Management of skin and nail pathologies, most commonly incarnate toenails
- Management of patients with diseases that can compromise the viability of the foot and lower limbs, e.g. diabetes, vascular disease, wound care.
- Musculoskeletal conditions
- Biomechanics and gait analysis
- Sports injuries
- Minor surgical procedures
What’s in a PRP Shot?
Plasma is the liquid part of your blood that’s mostly made of water and protein. It lets red and white blood cells and platelets move through your bloodstream. Platelets are a type of blood cell that makes your blood clot. They also play a role in healing.
Doctors may use platelet-rich plasma (PRP) on injuries or damage to tendons, ligaments, muscles, joints, and skin.
To collect plasma, a doctor draws blood from your body and uses a machine to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the rest of the blood. Then the doctor numbs the area of your body being treated with PRP injections. Once you’re numb, the doctor uses a needle to inject your plasma into the area of your body being treated.
For example, if you’re being treated for a muscle injury, your doctor would inject plasma into several locations in that muscle. In some cases, doctors use ultrasound technology during injections to make sure they’re targeting the right area. PRP injections usually take about 30 minutes, though it depends on the area you’re targeting.
Once platelets are in the area that’s being treated, they break down and release growth factors, which are compounds that help cells repair and renew. This is thought to trigger your body’s healing process.
What Can Platelet-Rich Plasma Treat?
PRP injections are used to treat torn tendons, tendinitis, muscle injuries, arthritis-related pain, and joint injuries. They’re becoming more common for cosmetic procedures, too. For example, dermatologists and hair replacement experts use PRP injections to treat a type of hair loss called androgenic alopecia, also known as male or female pattern baldness, which affects men and women. And some dermatologists provide PRP treatments for the face. (You may have heard these called a “vampire facial.”)
What are the risks of PRP?
Because PRP is derived from your own blood (“autologous” transplantation), there is NO chance of having an allergy or immune reaction. Indeed, in the literature, side effects or complications of PRP injection are extremely rare. The main risks include local infection (< 1% chance) and pain at the site of injection.
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