Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
Our team is focused on helping our patients alleviate pain, increase mobility and improve their quality of life. We recognize life is a sport and we offer innovative and effective solutions to help get our patients back into the action as soon as possible.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is supported by many studies to enable faster healing of soft tissue injuries of tendons, ligaments and muscles. It uses the body’s own blood to naturally stimulate tissue and wound healing and may eliminate the need for more extensive treatment, like surgery.
We use PRP therapy in the treatment of the following:
- Osteoarthritis (knees and shoulders)
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tennis or golf elbow
- Rotator cuff tears
- Muscle and tendon injuries such as calf and hamstrings
- And more
What are the potential benefits of PRP injection therapy?
- Reduces symptoms
- Helps regain function of the part of the body that was injured
- Eliminates the need for more aggressive treatments such as long-term medication or surgery
How does PRP therapy work?
Blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and platelets. In PRP therapy, only the Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) is used, separated from the rest of the blood. Our platelets, in addition to helping blood to clot, release healing proteins called growth factors.
PRP therapy is designed to increase the numbers of platelets in the body and deliver a large concentration of healing growth factors that can boost tissue recovery. The actual amount of PRP obtained usually averages between 3 and 5 milliliters
The clinician – a sports medicine physician – will put a small tube of your blood into the centrifuge. The centrifuge spins the blood at a very high rate of speed, which separates the blood into parts based on density. The red blood cells are denser and sink to the bottom. The plasma is the least dense and floats to the top.
The middle layer, which is called the “buffy coat”, is where the high concentration of platelets is located. Depending on the location of the injury/issue, your doctor may choose to do the injection using ultrasound guidance. The “buffy coat” contents are then injected into the painful part of the body in a series of one to three treatments. This stimulates the tendon or ligament and causes mild inflammation (swelling), which in turn starts the healing process. This can cause soreness as it is creating an inflammatory reaction, which is the first step in body beginning the healing process.
How long does the PRP procedure take?
The entire procedure should take about one hour.
How many injections will I need?
Most patients will require a series of three injections, each one will be 1-2 weeks apart. You and your doctor will discuss how many injections will be required.
How does PRP therapy differ from cortisone shots?
Cortisone injections may provide temporary pain relief and stop inflammation, but they do not provide long-term healing.
How long will the effects of PRP therapy last?
This will vary, you can discuss with your doctor when you may possibly receive or need another course of injections.