What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?
- Platelet Rich Plasma, known as “PRP” is an injection treatment whereby a person’s own blood is used.
- Blood contains red cells, white cells, platelets and plasma. Platelets are very small cells in your blood that are involved in the clotting process. PRP is obtained by separating the plasma and platelets.
- When these separated platelets are activated and reinjected into the area to be treated, they release a number of enzymes or growth factors which promote healing. This process also attracts stem cells in order to repair tissue.
- In PRP injection, the patient’s own blood is processed at high speeds, resulting in higher concentrations of the patient’s own growth and healing factors, which are then injected into the injured area promoting a more potent healing response.
PRP Therapy For Men & Women
Which areas can be treated?
- The most common areas treated are: Knee Joint, Shoulder Joint – either the subacromial/subdeltoid bursa or the Glenohumeral Joint, SI Joints in the low back, Hip Joint, Elbow, Wirst, Ankle, AC Joint, fingers and toes. We can also do PRP trigger point injections into the neck, back and any other tender areas.
- We will get a complete history, do a thorough physical exam, an Ultrasound evaluation and recommend a sensible treatment plan.
- Risks, benefits and available alternatives to treatment will be discussed. Medications and a home exercise program will be explained to you as well. Cost analysis is discussed and the number of sessions possibly required.
What is the process of Injections with PRP?
- Prior to treatment a blood sample of 1-2 oz is extracted from you. This blood is placed in the centrifuge for about 30 minutes. When centrifugation is complete your plasma will be separated from your red blood cells. The rich platelets are extracted and prepared for injection.
- The PRP is then injected to the necessary areas under Ultrasound guidance after the area is first made sterile with alcohol swabs and ethyl chloride spray is used for topical anesthesia. PRP then gradually promotes the healing cascade.
- This process and injection time takes approximately 90 minutes in total.
How many treatments are required?
This will depend upon how long you have had your problem and how severe the problem is. Normally it is advised to have around 3 treatments about 2 weeks apart.
How long do results last?
Treatment results vary, however in most patients the results last up to 18 months. Follow up appointments are done only on an as needed basis.
Who should not have this treatment?
- Patients who have any kind of blood or clotting disorders and those on anticoagulation therapy.
- Patients who have poor venous access.
- Patients that require chronic anti-inflammatory medications.
- Patients with severe phobias to needles and injections.
What are the side effects of injections with PRP?
Side effects are minimal. There is always a risk of bleeding and infection with any injection procedure. Generally, after the procedure, pain and stiffness of variable intensity and length is common. You may ice for 20 minutes every hour to reduce pain/swelling in the first 48 hours after the procedure. Bruising is possible, but usually very minor and is related to the injection itself. Infection is very rare as sterile equipment and techniques are used.
What are reasonable expectations from PRP therapy and are results immediate?
- Swelling from the fluid is what you will see and feel first. Once the swelling has subsided, you will notice some changes and improvements and responses vary per patient.
- PRP therapy will help everyone. It is just a question of how fast you respond to treatment and how many treatments you will need.
- At follow up visits, we add Growth Factor and Hyaluronic Acid to enhance the PRP response.
- During treatments, you may exercise; but, do not increase your activity level during treatment. In other words, do not try to increase your weights, reps or distance if it involves the area treated.
- If the exercise hurts, you may need to discontinue it for a short period of time.