PRP Injections. What are they? How does this therapy work?
PRP injections (Platelet-rich plasma) is a concentrated mixture of autologous platelets and a small amount of serum. It is derived from each patient’s whole blood and is separated from the red and white blood cells using a process called centrifugation. During this process, whole blood is spun at very high speeds to separate the various blood components. Once separated, the platelets are then extracted and injected into areas of injury, degeneration, or dysfunction.
PRP injections contain several times the number of platelets found in normal blood, and when re-introduced to the body, works to stimulate the body’s natural healing responses. High concentrations of platelets help to shuttle the body’s stem cells to the area, thereby encouraging tissue restoration and continued healing. PRP also contains higher concentrations of growth factors and cytokines which work to accelerate the healing process. Read more about joint injections.
Benefits of PRP Injections
For healing to occur, adequate blood supply is necessary. However, certain musculoskeletal tissues do not receive adequate blood supply, and therefore, do not heal well without assistance. When PRP is administered into these areas, the tissues are bathed in concentrated platelets containing growth factors that promote accelerated healing. PRP therapy can be used in the treatment of numerous musculoskeletal conditions including tendonitis, ligament tears, rotator cuff damage, bursitis, and osteoarthritis, among others. Platelet-rich plasma or PRP is a high concentration of platelets and plasma. A normal blood specimen contains only 6% platelets, while platelet-rich plasma contains 94% of platelets and 5 to 10 times the concentration of growth factors found in normal blood, thus greater healing properties.
BEFORE Restrictions – Do not take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication the entire week prior to an injection. This includes aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. If you are unsure, ask us about acceptable pain management medication.
PROCEDURE – Your blood will be drawn and sent to the lab, where they separate your platelets from red and white blood cells using a centrifuge. The platelet rich plasma is then prepared for injection, and your physician delivers your platelets back to you within the problem site. It’s that simple!
AFTER Restrictions – The month following your injection, do not take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication.
EXERCISE – After an initial 2 weeks of no excess activity, light exercise may be reintroduced to daily routine. Moderate to strenuous exercise is not recommended until 6 weeks after the injection. Vigorous movement before this time will negate healing of the treated site.
When will I see results?
With smaller issues, such as bursitis, patients may only require 2 treatments, and can see positive outcomes within 1 week. Most patients with more severe problems see effects after 6 weeks, as the improvement is gradual with continued treatments.
There is a risk of complication with any medical procedure. Take time to discuss treatment options and any questions you may have with your physician, before agreeing with a procedure.