I have torn my left Achilles tendon twice now. Because I'm a diabetic, it takes me longer to heal. Sometimes I don't heal well at all. I've heard there's some kind of protein that can be injected into the tendon to speed up healing for people like me? Where can I find out more about this?
People with diabetes and other chronic health problems are often at increased risk for poor or delayed wound healing. With the changes in circulation associated with diabetes, bone fractures, pressure sores, even minor injuries just don't heal quickly.
Tendon repairs that don't heal or don't hold up can be augmented by a product called platelet-rich plasma (PRP). It is painted on the tendon at the time of the surgery to repair the ruptured tissue. It works by sending signals to the cells that are needed to bring blood to the area along with the cells needed for an inflammatory process.
The use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for tendon healing is fairly new. It is not considered a routine procedure or one that is used with everyone. With diabetes as a risk factor, this approach might be a good one for you. Talk with your surgeon about your various treatment options, including the use of orthobiologics like platelet-rich plasma.
Siddhant K. Mehta, et al. The Role of Growth Factors in Foot and Ankle Surgery. In Current Orthopaedic Practice. May/June 2010. Vol. 21. No. 3. Pp. 245-250.
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