What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy?
Recent medical advances have uncovered a promising natural, non-surgical treatment for pain and injury called Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, or PRP. PRP is the plasma portion of the blood that contains concentrated platelet cells. Platelets are specialized types of blood cells that initiate tissue healing. When platelets are injected directly into the injured tissue they trigger the body’s natural instincts to repair itself and can often accelerate the healing process.
How is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy Performed?
Why does Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy work?
The concentrated platelets found in platelet rich plasma contain higher volumes of naturally occurring bioactive proteins vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. When the body is injured or damaged, it initiates a powerful cascade of responses designed to begin the healing process. This repair response usually starts with the formation of a platelet rich blood clot. Platelets then release healing proteins that go to work to heal the skin, bone or other tissues. Certain injuries, however, can be resistant to healing due to a lack of blood flow to the area, repetitive stress, or wearing away of tissue. By injecting platelets into the injured area, the healing proteins go directly to the site to repair the damage.
What conditions benefit from PRP Therapy?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy can be performed in muscles, tendons and ligaments throughout the body.Conditions that can best be treated with PRP therapy include:
- Rotator cuff injuries, tendonitis and partial tears
- Golfer’s and tennis elbow
- Elbow tendonitis
- Patellar tendonitis/tendinosis
- Knee ligament sprains and tears
- Ankle sprains
- Achilles tendonitis/tendinosis
- Hip girdle muscle pain
- Calf muscle tears
- Hamstring tendonitis and tears
- Plantar fasciitis
What to Expect
This innovative procedure usually takes less than one hour and includes a four step process described below:
Blood is safely drawn from the patient’s arm. Don’t let the blood or needles scare you. PRP is a simple, safe procedure;
The blood is then loaded into a centrifuge to spin for 15 minutes at 3200 rpm;
Platelet rich plasma is then extracted from the vial;
The injured area is prepped, anesthetized then injected with PRP using a sterile needle and ultrasound guidance;
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
PRP is usually very safe. PRP uses a patient’s own blood to stimulate the body’s natural healing process without the side effects associated with traditional cortisone injections.
The injured area will be numbed with a local anesthetic. After the area is numb and ready for treatment, there should be little or no pain. When the anesthetic wears off, there will be minor soreness at the injection site.
Since it is made up of the patient’s own blood, there is virtually no risk of allergy or rejection.
The injury site will feel achy and sore for several days after injection, which is a sign that the healing response has been activated as desired.
There may be some limitations on normal activities for the first few days to a week depending on the area of the injection. Heavy lifting and/or very strenuous exercise is generally avoided for approximately one to two weeks. Full activities usually take about 6-8 weeks, sometimes longer depending on the activity/sport.
Anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen should be avoided for 5-10 days prior and 2-6 weeks after PRP therapy, since they may block the healing response. Tylenol or a prescribed analgesic without anti-inflammatory properties may be used if needed to control pain.
Many patients experience complete healing after only one treatment, although it is not uncommon to require two to three treatments to achieve complete relief from pain.
We use new, disposable syringes for each PRP treatment, so there is no risk of contamination.