Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

We have helped many patients achieve significant results with PRP therapy for chronic tendon injuries and osteoarthritis.  Contact us to see if this therapy may be a good fit for you.

What is PRP Therapy?

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is a regenerative treatment within pain management that utilizes a patient's own platelets to facilitate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. By drawing a small sample of blood, centrifuging it to concentrate the platelets, and then injecting this platelet-rich plasma into the affected area, PRP therapy harnesses the body’s natural healing processes. This method aims to reduce pain and improve the functionality of the injured tissue by promoting regeneration and reducing inflammation, leveraging growth factors and proteins essential for tissue repair.

Primarily used for chronic tendon injuries such as tennis elbow or Achilles tendonitis, PRP therapy's applications have broadened to include osteoarthritis, particularly in the knee, and other musculoskeletal conditions characterized by pain and slow healing. Its ability to address the root cause of pain through healing promotion makes PRP therapy a valuable alternative or complement to conventional pain management techniques. This approach offers the potential for reduced dependence on pain medications and may help patients avoid more invasive surgical interventions, thereby improving their overall quality of life.

What are the benefits and risks of PRP Therapy?

PRP therapy has been shown to be an effective treatment for pain management.  The following are some of the benefits and risks:

Benefits

  • Natural Healing Process: PRP therapy uses the patient's own blood components, leveraging the body’s natural healing mechanisms to repair damaged tissue and reduce inflammation, which can lead to pain relief and improved function.
  • Low Risk of Allergic Reactions: Since PRP is derived from the patient's own blood, there is a minimal risk of allergic reactions or rejection by the body.
  • Versatility: It has a wide range of applications, from treating chronic tendon injuries and osteoarthritis to aiding in the healing of muscles and ligaments, making it a versatile tool in regenerative medicine.
  • Potential to Reduce the Need for Surgery: For some conditions, PRP therapy may provide sufficient relief and healing to reduce the need for more invasive surgical interventions.
  • Minimally Invasive with Minimal Downtime: The procedure is relatively simple, can be done in an outpatient setting, and typically allows patients to return to their daily activities with little to no downtime.

Risks

  • Infection: As with any injection, there is a small risk of infection at the injection site.
  • Pain at Injection Site: Some patients may experience pain or discomfort at the site of the injection, which usually resolves on its own but can be bothersome.
  • Ineffectiveness: PRP therapy may not be effective for everyone. Some patients may not experience the anticipated improvement in pain or function.
  • Bleeding and Bruising: There is a risk of bleeding and bruising at the injection site, especially for individuals who are prone to bleeding or are on blood-thinning medications.
  • Limited Research: While promising, the effectiveness and optimal use of PRP therapy are still under investigation, with some studies offering mixed results. This can make it difficult to predict outcomes for individual patients.
  • Cost and Insurance Coverage: PRP therapy is not always covered by insurance, which can make it a costly option for some patients.

Despite these risks, PRP therapy remains a promising option for many patients seeking relief from various musculoskeletal conditions, offering a potential alternative to more invasive treatments and long-term use of pain medications. If you are considering PRP therapy, schedule a pain management consultation to discuss the potential benefits and risks so you can make an informed decision.

Who is a good candidate for a PRP Therapy?

Good candidates for Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy typically include individuals with chronic tendon injuries, osteoarthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions that have not responded well to more conservative treatments. Here are some specific characteristics of individuals who may benefit from PRP therapy:

  • Chronic Tendon Injuries: Patients with persistent tendon issues such as tennis elbow, Achilles tendonitis, or jumper's knee, especially those that have not improved with physical therapy, rest, or other non-invasive treatments.
  • Osteoarthritis: Individuals suffering from osteoarthritis, particularly in the knee, who experience pain and mobility issues but wish to avoid or delay surgery. PRP can help alleviate pain and improve joint function.
  • Musculoskeletal Pain: Those with musculoskeletal pain resulting from injuries or degenerative conditions, where traditional pain management strategies have been insufficient.
  • Sports Injuries: Athletes or active individuals with acute sports injuries looking for a faster recovery to return to their activities, when conventional treatments have not been fully effective.
  • Post-surgical Recovery: Patients in the recovery phase after surgery who are seeking to enhance the healing process and reduce recovery time.
  • Minimal Improvement from Other Treatments: Individuals who have tried medications, physical therapy, and other treatments without significant improvement may find PRP therapy beneficial.

It's important for candidates to have realistic expectations and understand that PRP therapy can help accelerate healing and reduce pain but might not always offer a complete cure, especially for degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis. Additionally, individuals should be in relatively good health and free from conditions that could impair healing, such as blood disorders. We specialize in PRP therapy and can conduct a thorough evaluation to determine if you are an appropriate candidate, taking into account your specific condition, overall health, and treatment goals.

How is PRP Therapy performed?

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy is a multi-step process performed in a clinical setting, typically involving the following stages:

  • Blood Collection: The procedure begins with the collection of a small amount of the patient's blood, similar to a routine blood test. The amount of blood drawn depends on the area being treated but is generally about 15 to 60 milliliters.
  • Centrifugation: The collected blood is then placed in a centrifuge, a machine that spins at high speed. This process separates the blood components, allowing for the extraction of plasma that is rich in platelets. This platelet-rich plasma (PRP) contains concentrated levels of growth factors and proteins essential for tissue healing and regeneration.
  • Preparation of PRP for Injection: The concentrated PRP is drawn into a syringe, preparing it for injection into the affected area. Depending on the condition being treated and the specific protocol of the practitioner, the PRP may be activated with calcium chloride or thrombin to initiate the release of growth factors from the platelets.
  • Injection: The area to be treated is cleaned and may be numbed with a local anesthetic to minimize discomfort. Using ultrasound or fluoroscopic guidance for precision, the PRP is injected directly into the injured tissue. The growth factors in the PRP initiate and enhance the body’s natural healing processes.
  • Post-procedure Care: After the injection, patients may experience mild swelling and discomfort in the treated area for a few days. Typically, there is minimal downtime, and patients can return to their normal activities shortly after the procedure, although strenuous activity may be restricted for a period of time as advised by the healthcare provider.

The entire PRP therapy process, from blood draw to injection, usually takes about an hour, including preparation and recovery time. It's a relatively safe procedure with a low risk of complications, primarily because it uses the patient's own blood, reducing the risk of allergic reactions or infections. However, outcomes and protocols may vary, and it's essential for you to have a thorough discussion with a specialist to understand the specific procedure, expected outcomes, and any potential risks.

How Can We Help You?

If you would like to make a new patient appointment, please enter your contact information using this form.  Our new patient coordinator will contact you to get your insurance and other details to schedule you within 24 hours of your message.