What is PRP?
In attempts to help heal the wounded tissue, people have turned to platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy. For the treatment, doctors take a small vial of a patient’s blood, about 30 milliliters, and spin it in a centrifuge to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the other components. This process concentrates platelets and white blood cells in what is called a “buffy coat” that is extracted and delivered to the injured area. Growth factors in the platelets recruit and produce cells necessary for healing. We then inject the concentrated platelets at the site of the patient’s injury.
How long has PRP been around?
Doctors have used PRP therapy since the mid-1990s to aid bone healing after spinal injury and soft tissue recovery following plastic surgery.
What type of conditions is PRP used to treat?
Medical researchers are reporting remarkable results using PRP in the treatment of common injuries, including:
- regeneration of cartilage in osteoarthritis of the thumbs, knees and hips
- non-surgical repair of rotator cuff tears
Published studies show:
- restoration and smoothing of roughened cartilage
- improved range of motion
- resolution of pain in osteoarthritis of hips, knees and shoulders.
Many other conditions respond to prolotherapy with PRP, including injuries to the shoulders, knees, back, neck, jaw, elbows, hands, hips, ankles and feet.
PRP is an effective therapy that can be used with anyone dealing with chronic injury from normal wear and tear, senior citizens to your amateur and professional athletes.
Is PRP Safe?
Autologous (or patient self-derived blood) PRP has been used for over 30 years as an aid in recovery following certain surgical, orthopaedic and dental procedures. There are numerous research articles published on the safety of PRP. Being that it is your own blood, there is no risk of a transmissible infection and a very low risk of allergic reaction.
How Many Treatments Are Required?
That depends on the patient and the area being treated. Most patients need at least two treatments, but some patients require more. Some people respond immediately, but most of the time, it can take up to six weeks to respond to the treatment.
Is PRP Right For Me?
If you suffer from arthritis, an injured ligament or tendon injury, and traditional methods have not provided relief, then PRP therapy may not be an option. The procedure is more cost effective than traditional surgery, and it heals the tissue with minimal or no scarring and alleviates the further deterioration of the tissues. Our clinicians will meet with each patient to confirm they are a viable candidate during the initial consultation.
What Should I Expect After the Injection?
After the injection, you will feel discomfort in the area treated for around 10 days. The healing effects of the injection can occur within a week after the injection. We recommend normal activity with no extra exercise for the first 48 hours. After 10-12 days, you can start light exercise without stressful activity for six weeks. Trying to return to heavy exercise prior to giving yourself adequate time to heal will only lead to further complications.