Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet rich plasma, or PRP, can be beneficial for pain relief, rapid soft tissue repair, and return to full function without the need for surgery. However, it is not available for all conditions and there are circumstances and injuries that may require surgery.

How does it work?

With PRP, the patient’s blood is drawn and the platelets and plasma are separated from the remaining blood cells. This creates an injectable solution that has a high concentration of the patient’s own platelets. This solution is then injected back into the body to target the injured or painful area. In our office, ultrasound is used to target the specific injured area.

Pros

  • It is incredibly safe.
  • Helpful for almost any condition.
  • It can be safely performed multiple times over the course of the lifetime.
  • Little to no down time. Make sure to follow your provider’s advice regarding return to full function following the procedure.
  • Can delay (arthritis) or prevent (ligament or soft tissue injury) the need for surgical intervention. The goal is to prevent surgical intervention, which is possible in many cases.
  • May take a single treatment (in a sprain or tear) or may require periodic injections every few years (in osteoarthritis).
  • Can prolong the need for total joint replacement.

Cons

  • Not covered by insurance.
  • There can be a brief 3-5 day period of increased soreness or pain, but this is uncommon.

Prepare for your visit

Tylenol, ice and heat can be used for comfort and symptomatic treatment after procedure.

Day of the procedure: Eat a good meal and drink plenty of water. This ensure you are well hydrated and prepared for the blood draw. If your hip, hamstring or piriformis are being treated, it is best to have a driver come with you.

10-14 days before AND after: Avoid the use of ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve (NSAIDs) for at least 7 but ideally 10-14 days prior to the PRP appointment.

6-8 weeks before: Avoid cortisone and other steroids (particularly injected steroid in the area that PRP will be performed) as they will inhibit the effects of PRP. (Exceptions: chronic conditions that may require steroid to control inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis)

After your visit

Tylenol (acetaminophen), ice and heat can be used after the injection for pain or soreness (or for those with routine headaches, not associated with the injection).

A brace or crutches may be needed after the procedure. Your provider will let you know if this is necessary.

Physical therapy may be necessary. This promotes muscle balance and aids in tissue repair and remodeling.

7-14 days after: Avoid the use of ibuprofen, Motrin, and Aleve (NSAIDs) as well as any steroids, except when discussed and approved by your provider (such as rheumatoid arthritis or chronic inflammatory condition).

Follow your physician’s advice regarding return to full function following the procedure.

For more information, check out Dr. Jon Minor‘s blog post on biologic treatment options.

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