Platelet Rich Plasma Injections

Platelet Rich Plasma Injections

Platelet rich plasma or PRP is an injection therapy used to treat painful or injured joints, tendons and ligaments. PRP injections are comprised of a concentrated platelet solution that is obtained from a simple venipuncture. PRP injections have been used for decades in the dental and veterinary fields. It was not until the early 2000’s that PRP injections started being used in patients with musculoskeletal pain and injury. Today, PRP injections are also widely used in the aesthetics field due to its ability to stimulate new cell growth.

Since its introduction into the sports world, PRP injections have been widely used to treat painful joints and tendons. Clinical research has shown that PRP injections can reduce pain and improve function into the areas that it is injected. Similar to Prolotherapy, PRP injections not only reduce pain but also reduce the need for many elective orthopedic surgeries.

PRP injections are performed in our medical office. Once a sample of blood is drawn from the patient’s arm, it is placed in a specialized centrifuge. The centrifuged sample is comprised of concentrated platelets. Platelets are cells that help to clot blood and heal wounds. Platelets contain healing proteins and growth factors that aid in repairing injured joints, tendons and ligaments. Most PRP injections are given using ultrasound guidance. Ultrasound allows visualization of the needle to ensure proper placement of the PRP solution.

After PRP has been properly injected, the patient should nurture the injected area and care for it as a fresh injury. Post-injection rest of the injected area for 1-2 weeks aids in the healing process. Applied heat and ice and oral Acetaminophen can be used to calm the pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories should be avoided as these medications can halt the healing process. A course of physical therapy beginning 2-3 weeks after the injection is recommended to aid in strengthening and stabilizing the injected joint, tendon or ligament.