Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection Therapy
What is PRP?
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a concentration of naturally healing components in a person’s own blood. Platelets and the liquid plasma portion of the blood, naturally contain white blood cells and bioactive proteins, called growth factors and stem cell markers. These cells are vital for tissue regeneration and repair. Platelets, which are responsible for clotting, have been scientifically proven to be vital healing components. With advanced techniques and a quick, easy outpatient visit, NAO physicians are able to concentrate these regenerative healing cells in a simple injection to the injured area.
What types of problems can PRP treat?
Our physicians are trained experts and provide PRP for a variety of conditions and areas of the body, such as:
- Arthritis of the knee and hip
- Shoulder pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Peroneal Tendinitis
- Achilles Tendon Pain
What is involved in the PRP Procedure?
After a blood sample is obtained from a patient’s arm, it is put into a centrifuge, which is a tool that spins and separates the blood into its many components. The platelet rich plasma separates out from the other blood. Then, the PRP given to patients through an injection. Often the NAO surgeon will choose to use an ultrasound machine to help provide precise placement of the PRP into the injured area, such as a ligament or tendon.
What is Recovery like?
The anesthetic used to numb the skin generally wears off in 1-2 hours. Mild pain and swelling may occur at the injection site. However, the majority of patients are able to return to usual activities with NO down time. After the injection, a patient must avoid exercise for a short period of time.
What about the Post-treatment care of PRP?
Patients must be particularly careful not to traumatize the area during this post-treatment time frame. Initially the procedure may cause some localized soreness and discomfort. Patients can apply ice and elevation as needed. Use the area as tolerated since restricting movement for an extended time can cause stiffening. Movement and massages promote circulation in the area and can assist with healing.
Key Points to Remember:
- There are little to no risks of PRP when conducted by a trained professional
- Basic science studies show that PRP treatment may improve healing in many tissues.
- While other treatments such as steroid injections may provide temporary relief and stop inflammation, PRP injections stimulate healing of the injury over a shorter time period with less side effects.
- Anti-inflammatory medicines should be stopped before and after PRP treatment is given
- The total procedure time lasts less than 30 minutes.
- This procedure may eliminate the need for further invasive treatments, such as surgery or prolonged use of medications.
- Many patients require 2-3 treatments to obtain optimal results and may even experience a dramatic return of function and relief within a few months