non surgical orthopedistDr. Hector L. LopezMD, CSCS, FAAPMRWith advanced training and experience in the fields of musculoskeletal medicine, physical therapy, and nutrition, Dr. Hector Lopez integrates several safe and non-invasive approaches to optimize patient recovery and improve overall health. He is highly trained in performing viscosupplementation, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and Regenerative-Restorative injections for faster patient recovery.

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PRP Injection Therapy

Will PRP Injection Therapy Help Me?

For patients with orthopedic injuries that aren’t responding to traditional treatments, platelet rich plasma therapy (or PRP) offers a safe and nonsurgical way to return to pre-injury status.  Given as a series of safe injections, that usually range from 1 to 4 total injections, the treatment often has injury sufferers feeling better within weeks and back to normal within months of beginning therapy.

What is PRP?

PRP therapy is a treatment for injuries to the Ligaments, tendons, muscles, and connective tissue.  The treatment – which takes place in your doctor’s office in under an hour – begins with a simple draw of the patient’s own blood.  This blood is then placed in a centrifuge, a spinning device used to separate the different components of blood: the plasma, the red and white blood cells, and the blood platelets.

Blood platelets are the cells in the body responsible for healing a damaged area.  When an injury occurs, blood rushes to the site of the injury and platelets begin to repair the area by providing key growth factors that signal the healthy local cells along with recruiting new stem cells to regenerate the injured tissue.  PRP gives the body a “boost” by injecting platelets drawn from the patient’s own blood directly to the site of the injury.  This helps enhance healing naturally, by harnessing the body’s ability to heal itself without surgical procedures or synthetic growth hormones.

What Types of Injuries Does PRP Treat?

Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy has been popularized in recent years by athletes like Tiger Woods and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, who both received PRP injections after sports injuries and made successful recoveries.  Recently, LA Lakers superstar guard Kobe Bryant has been reported to seek PRP treatment for his knee injury.  PRP is most suited to orthopedic injuries that aren’t healing with traditional methods like physical therapy, massage, steroid or anti-inflammatory medications, or simple rest.  In certain special circumstances, PRP may be utilized slightly earlier in the treatment regimen after an orthopedic injury.

A sports medicine or non-surgical orthopedic doctor who specializes in PRP therapy – like Dr. Hector Lopez, MD, CSCS, FAAPMR, who treats platelet rich plasma therapy patients– can help a patient decide if PRP is the right choice.  Injuries well-treated by PRP include:

  • Tendonitis and tendon injuries, including the Achilles tendon
  • Injuries and sprains to the ligaments, such as the ACL
  • Tennis elbow
  • Partial Rotator cuff tears
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Other injuries related to chronic overuse


What Can I Expect During Treatment?

Each PRP injection is a simple and fast procedure performed at the physician’s office.  After using a centrifuge to separate and concentrate blood platelets from the patient’s blood sample, the patient will be injected with his or her own platelets directly at the site of the injury.  A local anesthetic is typically used to minimize discomfort during the procedure, and many patients report little to no pain or discomfort after the injection.  As instances of “missing” the injury during injection have been reported, Dr. Lopez uses a state-of-the-art ultrasound imaging system at his practice to ensure optimum injection placement.

Treatments are usually performed every 6-8 weeks on average, and many patients report feeling less pain and more function after only one treatment.  Dr. Lopez, also a pioneer in nutritional medicine and expert in exercise science, utilizes benefits of a customized plan to fill in the nutritional gaps and therapeutic exercise that may interfere with a speedy recovery.  There are a wide range of orthopedic treatment options available for patients whose injuries aren’t responding to traditional conservative measures, and with PRP injections patients have a more natural solution to a chronic problem.