Also known as platelet-rich plasma therapy, PRP is a revolutionary treatment that has helped countless individuals – and many professional athletes – heal persistent musculoskeletal injuries.

WHAT IS THIS “MAGICAL” TREATMENT CALLED PRP?

Increasingly patients are asking questions about the PRP procedure. They want to know if this “incredible” treatment that has helped many professional athletes, can help them with their ailments.

PRP is Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy. It is a unique technology that stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself. PRP utilizes a patient’s own platelets and growth factors to stimulate a healing response within a damaged tendon or joint and help restore healthy functioning tissue. It is used to help individuals as well as professional and competitive athletes with nagging musculoskeletal (muscle, joint, tendon) injuries.

DID YOU KNOW?


Pittsburg Steeler wide receiver, Hines Ward, received PRP treatment on his knee.

Tiger Woods received four injections of PRP in his left knee following surgery.

Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Takashi Saito received PRP injections in his elbow.

NY Mets pitcher, Pedro Feliciano, received PRP therapy for his shoulder pain and hamstring injury.

Top tennis player, Rafael Nadal, used PRP injections to help resolve his knee injury.

WHAT IS THE INJECTION USED FOR?

The procedure is indicated for many musculoskeletal (muscle, joint tendon) and arthritic conditions that have not responded to conservative treatment and therapies. These include but are not limited to the following problems:


  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Facet Joint Arthritis
  • Disc Degeneration
  • Hip and Knee Tendinitis and Arthritis
  • Achilles Tendon Injuries
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Chronic tendinopathies in the elbow such as lateral epichondylitis (tennis elbow) and medial epicondylitis ( Golfer’s elbow)
  • Various shoulder injuries including rotator cuff tendonitis, bursitis and arthritis

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HOW DOES IT WORK AND HOW IS IT ADMINISTERED?

Blood is composed of red blood cells, platelets, white blood cells and plasma. Patient’s blood is drawn and spun in a centrifuge for several minutes. The centrifuge separates the platelets from the rest of the blood. This platelet rich plasma is then extracted from the mixture and injected into the injured tissue or joint. PRP promotes release of growth factors enabling the body to naturally heal itself. Ultrasound guidance is used to inject the PRP directly into the area, ensuring accurate placement of PRP.

PRE AND POST-PROCEDURE INFORMATION

Depending on the procedure (ultra-sound/fluoroscopic/ live x-ray), it is important that you follow these instructions:

  • Do not take any anti-inflammatory medication like Advil, Aleve, Mobic, etc. one week before the procedure and two weeks after the procedure.
  • Care after the procedure varies depending on the area of body injected. As a general guideline, for ankle injections patients need to wear a walking boot for three days. For knee tendon injection patients are required to wear a knee immobilizer for three days. For knee joint injection for osteoarthritis, patients rest the day after the procedure and return to regular activities. For shoulder issues a sling may be required for three days. For wrist pain and tennis elbow/golfers elbow a wrist brace is used for three days

WHEN WILL I FEEL BETTER AND WILL ONE INJECTION BE SUFFICIENT?

In general patients begin to feel better about four to six weeks after the injection, but they should continue to improve over time. Quality post-procedure physical therapy is generally indicated to help regain mobility and strength and optimize function. Patients are scheduled to follow up six weeks post procedure to assess progress from the injection. Further treatment will depend on the relief from the first injection. Repeat injections may be considered depending on the response to the procedure. Patients may require up to three injections.

WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF THE PROCEDURE?

With any needle injection, there is a minimal risk of bleeding and infection. Given that PRP uses a patient’s own blood, it is uncommon to have a major side effect or an allergic reaction. It is common to feel soreness after the injection for a few days.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM A CANDIDATE FOR THE PROCEDURE?

If you have any of the above conditions and are interested in learning more, you should schedule a formal consultation. Like most treatments, it is very important to carefully review your medical history and determine if the procedure is the best option for you.

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IS PRP COVERED BY INSURANCE?

Currently insurances do not pay for the procedure.

WHO IS NOT A CANDIDATE FOR PRP?

You are not a candidate for PRP if you:

  • Are actively being treated for a malignancy
  • Currently have an infection, fever or illness
  • Have a blood cancer such as leukemia or lymphoma not in remission for the past five years
  • Received a steroid injection within two weeks of PRP
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