Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a non-surgical, in-office procedure which involves injection of the patient’s own platelets to help promote tendon, ligament and joint healing in the body. Platelets are rich in growth factors and other substances involved in the healing process.
PRP may be used to treat injuries to many areas of the body, including the hand, wrist, shoulder, elbow, neck, back, spine, knee and ankle.
PRP is a promising treatment option for patients with injuries that have failed to heal despite more conservative treatment options such as anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections and physical therapy.
How Does PRP Work?
Patients are typically prescribed a combination of oral narcotic and sedative medication to be taken prior to or at time of office arrival for the PRP procedure.
30 to 60 cc’s of blood are drawn from the patient (roughly 1/8 to 1/4 of the volume required to donate blood). The blood is then placed in a centrifuge separating the platelets from the other cell types found in blood. From the blood drawn, only about 3 to 6 cc’s of platelet rich plasma are used. Growth factors and other substances released by the platelets are what facilitate the regenerative process that occurs with tissue healing.
The physician then injects the PRP into specific targets in the injured or affected area. The injections typically take about 15 to 20 minutes.
Long-term Pain Relief
Soreness is common after the procedure and often peaks between the third and fifth days after the procedure. Though treatment plans vary by physician, most patients return for a second injection targeting the same area about two to four weeks later. Depending on patient response, patients may undergo additional injections in the future. The time to experience noticeable pain relief and functional improvement is dependent on the location and severity and can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.