Platelet-Rich Plasma, or PRP, is produced from your own blood. Platelets and plasma contain growth factors, which stimulate the normal wound healing process, e.g., the same way that your skin heals after a scrape. With PRP, you create a supratherapeutic level of your own platelets (over 500% more platelets than normal blood) so that you heighten the healing of injured tissue. This procedure allows platelets to work in the injured site. Many PRP injections are done under ultrasound guidance to confirm placement of the PRP in the correct tissue.
Is PRP indicated for me?
PRP might be right for you if you have an injury that has not healed with other treatments. There are also some types of new muscle, tendon, or ligament injuries that may benefit from PRP. It can be performed in any musculoskeletal structure, including muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments all over the body. Some examples include partial tendon tears, muscle strains, ligament sprains/partial tears, articular cartilage injury, arthritis, and chronic tendon injuries.
How is PRP made?
To prepare PRP, blood is taken from your arm with a special kit similar to a normal blood test. It is then placed in a centrifuge that separates the platelets from the blood in order to be extracted in a concentrated form called PRP.
How many treatments are necessary?
Most patients achieve successful outcomes with only one injection. In some cases, two or three injections are required to achieve optimal results. Each injection is spaced several weeks apart. There is no limit to the number of treatments you can have; however, literature has shown that about 15% of patients do not see improvement with more than three injections and should consider other treatments.
Are there any side effects?
Since your own blood is used, there is no risk for transmitted blood-infections. PRP has a strong antibacterial effect, so risk of local infection is minimal. It is normal to have increased soreness or pain after the procedure for an average of three days. We will offer you a pain medication to help with this.
Will my insurance pay for this treatment?
Your insurance company will not cover this procedure; therefore, you will be responsible for the cost of this service. There are various PRP packages to suit your needs. All packages include the PRP kit, blood draw, centrifugation machine, disposable equipment, ultrasound guidance, and the actual procedure. A splint for support may be indicated in some cases (additional fee).
What are the potential benefits of PRP?
PRP stimulates healing of the injured tissue by activating your body’s natural healing capacity. Patients on average report more than 50% improvement in six weeks and up to 100% improvement in twelve weeks. This may eliminate the need for more aggressive and expensive treatment options, such as long-term medication or surgery. In addition, PRP Therapy is a minimally-invasive procedure that is done in the clinic; therefore, you go home the same day.
- Stop anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) medications seven (7) days prior to procedure (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, Celebrex, etc.). If you take aspirin for a heart condition or stroke, you may continue this.
- In some cases, you may need to stop blood thinners (e.g., aspirin, Plavix, Coumadin, etc.) seven days prior to the procedure. You must discuss this with your physician as well as your cardiologist or primary doctor and obtain approval. Other daily medications may be taken normally as directed.
- Arrange for a friend or family member to provide transportation for you on the day of the procedure. Post-procedure pain may interfere with your ability to drive.
- We recommend having someone drive you home after the procedure depending on which area of the body is injected.
- Blood thinners (e.g., aspirin, Plavix, Coumadin, etc.) may be resumed 24 hours after the procedure.
- ***Avoid anti-inflammatory medications for at least TWO weeks after the procedure (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, Celebrex, etc.).
- Increased pain in the affected area may occur after your PRP injection. This is part of the healing process. Ice the affected area three to four times per day for 15 minutes for the next three days. You may take Extra Strength Tylenol as needed for pain or the prescribed pain medication.
- If you develop a fever, persistent redness, and swelling at the site of injection, call Slocum Center for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at (541) 485-8111 to update your doctor. Although rare, this could be a sign of infection.
- Follow your doctor’s post-procedure instructions in order to optimize the healing of the tissue and decrease the risk of causing further damage. Limit excess movement of the treated area for the first three days after the procedure. Avoid lifting or any strenuous activity for the first seven days. If a splint was provided, you should wear it during the first seven days.
- It is not unusual to still be having discomfort two to three weeks following a PRP procedure. With chronic tendon problems, it can take up to six weeks to really see significant improvement. It is important to comply with activity restriction and physical therapy as directed by your doctor.