What is PRP?
PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma is a safe, innovative and minimally invasive approach to regenerative medicine that uses your body’s own cells to enhance and accelerate the healing process.
PRP is made from a small sample (30-60 cc’s) of a patient’s blood, drawn at the time of treatment. The sample is spun in a special centrifuge to create a concentrated solution comprised primarily of high levels of platelets.
What are platelets?
Platelets are a critical component of the wound healing process. Importantly, they contain growth factors that are responsible for stimulating tissue generation and repair.
How does it work?
Simply put, PRP therapy delivers these growth factors to a site of acute or chronic injury to enhance and accelerate the healing process.
Who is a good candidate for PRP?
PRP can be a good option for those who have an acute soft tissue injury or recurring pain from a more chronic condition such as osteoarthritis. This is especially true for those who are not eligible for surgery or who wish to put it off. Patients with conditions whose recovery has failed or plateaued with more conservative measures may also benefit from Platelet Rich Plasma therapy.
What is the injection process?
- When you come in for your appointment the practitioner will go over your consent form, explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
- We will draw 60 cc’s of blood from your arm to prepare the PRP.
- The sample is placed in a centrifuge and spun to separate the platelets from the rest of the blood components, this process will take several minutes.
- The practitioner will then position you on the table and the skin over the injection site will be cleaned.
- Using ultrasound guidance, the platelet-rich plasma will be injected using a sterile needle.
- Depending on the area, you may be required to wait in the clinic for several minutes after your injection.
What can I expect after my injection?
If you received an injection into a joint (Knee, Hip, Shoulder…) a sensation that your joint is full or warm is totally normal. Some tenderness and aching in the following days are to be expected. Occasionally the joint will swell significantly. Call us if this happens so that we can ask you some questions about the swelling.
If you received PRP treatment into soft tissue or tendon, the PRP goes into the tissue, stretching it out and filling it up like a sponge. You can expect significant pain for 12-36 hours which tapers off slowly over the next 7-14 days. You may benefit from a strong pain killer like Codeine or Percocet for the first night or two.
When can I expect results and how long will they last?
Improvements occur slowly over several months with the onset of symptom relief typically developing around six weeks post treatment. It may be years before you feel like you need another one.
More severe conditions may not benefit for as long as other conditions and relief lasting longer than 2 years isn’t well supported. Most people in a maintenance phase with PRP will get annual injections.
Can PRP be combined with other types of injections?
Yes. Many times, a patient may wish to combine their PRP treatment with an HA injection. It is important to note that PRP therapy cannot be combined with any injection options that contain cortisone as this inhibits the efficacy of your platelet-rich plasma injection.
How long before I can return to exercise after my injection?
Generally, there is very little down time following a PRP injection. It is recommended that you keep to light activity for the first 3-4 days after a treatment and slowly work your way back up to full activity.
Let pain be your guide. A gentle ache is okay. A sharp pain that causes you to limp or cheat in your movements is usually a pain to be avoided.
How many PRP injections are required?
Typically, we recommend 2 injections of PRP spread 6 weeks apart.