Platelet Rich Plasma Injections are now being performed in the clinic!
PRP injections (or platelet rich plasma therapy) is a new treatment method that relieves pain by promoting long lasting healing of musculoskeletal conditions. This rapidly emerging technique is showing exciting potential with osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder, hip and spine, rotator cuff tears, chronic plantar fasciitis, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, pelvic pain and instability, back and neck injuries, tennis elbow, ankle sprains, tendonitis, and ligament sprains.
How do PRP injections help?
The body’ s first response to soft tissue injury is to deliver platelet cells. Packed with growth and healing factors, platelets initiate repair and attract the critical assistance of stem cells. Platelet Rich Plasma therapy’s natural healing process intensifies the body’s efforts by delivering a higher concentration of platelets. To create platelet rich plasma therapy, a small sample of your blood is drawn (similar to a lab test sample) and placed in a centrifuge that spins the blood at high speeds, separating the platelets from the other components. The concentrated PRP injection is then delivered into and around the point of injury, jump-starting and significantly strengthening the body’s natural healing signal. Because your own blood is used, there is no risk of a transmissible infection and a very low risk of allergic reaction.
How long does it take to get PRP Injections?
The Platelet Rich Plasma therapy takes approximately one to two hours, including preparation and recovery time. Performed safely in a medical office, PRP injections relieve pain without the risks of surgery, general anesthesia, or hospital stays and without a prolonged recovery. In fact, most people return to their jobs or usual activities right after the procedure.
How much does the procedure cost?
Our pricing is $595 for joint injections (shoulder, hip, knee, or ankle), and $1495 for spinal facet injections.
How often should PRP injections be given?
Up to three PRP injections may be given within a six-month time frame, usually performed two to three weeks apart. You may, however, gain considerable to complete relief after the first or second injection.
What are the expected results of PRP Injections?
Because the goal of platelet rich plasma therapy is to resolve pain through healing, it could prove to have lasting results. Initial improvement may be seen within a few weeks, gradually increasing as the healing progresses. Research studies and clinical practice have shown PRP injections to be very effective at relieving pain and returning patients to their normal lives. Both ultrasound and MRI images have shown definitive tissue repair after PRP therapy, confirming the healing process. The need for surgery can also be greatly reduced by treating injured tissues before the damage progresses and the condition is irreversible.
What exactly is PRP?
PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. Platelet rich plasma is harvested from your own blood and involves the isolation of the portion of blood that includes growth and healing factors that would be injected back into the area of concern, usually and joint space or tendon. While PRP use in sports and orthopedic medicine has been increasing in recent years, it has been used since the mid-1990’s in dental and oral surgery and to aid in soft tissue recovery following plastic surgery.
Who has used PRP therapy?
PRP treatment recently gained widespread recognition in the sports world when Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers received PRP therapy prior to winning Super Bowl XLIII. Other high profile athletes include Tiger Woods who received four treatments following knee surgery and pitchers Takashi Saito and Bartolo Colon — both recent examples of PRP success in Major League Baseball.
How is PRP administered?
PRP therapy, which takes approximately thirty minutes to prepare and complete, begins with collection of 30 milliliters of the patient’s blood. Using a negative pressure extraction technique, the platelets are fractured freeing the growth and healing factors within. After a centrifuge process which involves spinning the sample to separate the PRP from whole blood components, The fractionated PRP is injected into the site of the injury or pain. Platelets function as a natural reservoir for growth factors that are essential to repair injured tissues. The growth factors that the platelets secrete stimulate tissue recovery by increasing collagen production, enhancing tendon stem cell proliferation, and tenocyte-related gene and protein expression. These growth factors also stimulate blood flow and cause cartilage to become more firm and resilient. PRP activates tenocytes to proliferate quickly and produce collagen to repair injured tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and muscles.
Will I feel immediate results from PRP therapy?
You may feel a notable increase in pain or a fullness in the injected area in the days immediately following the injection. Pain intensity becomes less each day as functional mobility and general functional ability increase along with endurance and strength. You will notice gradual improvement 2-6 weeks after PRP therapy. Some patients report ongoing improvement 6-9 months after PRP therapy is administered. In some studies, Ultrasound and MRI images have shown definitive tissue repair has occurred after PRP therapy, supporting the proof of the healing process. By treating injured tissues before the damage progresses, surgical intervention may be avoided.
Is PRP therapy a substitute for surgery? Why does it (in theory) work?
Not necessarily. While many chronic conditions may respond to PRP therapy, obviating the need for a surgical procedure, it is impossible to predict which will respond and which will fail to do so. A chronic, incompletely healed condition is characterized by excessive scar tissue within the tendon/ligament. This may lead to impaired joint function or leave the tendon or ligament susceptible to re-injury or complete disruption. This inferior, or in some cases, aborted, healing process is due to poor blood supply to the injury site. Most tendons have a poor blood supply and often are the site of microscopic tears or chronic scarring. The body naturally has a difficult time healing these structures. PRP is thought to initiate a response that makes the chronic condition appear to be a new injury, and thus, provoke a new/renewed healing response. This new healing response is then augmented by the super-concentrated healing factors contained within the PRP. Therefore, with PRP therapy in combination with appropriate reconditioning, we may improve the chance of healing and diminish the opportunity for escalation of the injury. A positive result may lead to a decrease need for surgical intervention.