Medical News

Platelet Rich Plasma: PRP

Did you know that we offer PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections? PRP injections are used to treat knee and shoulder osteoarthritis. The injections are also used to treat various forms of tendinitis, such as tennis elbow, Achilles tendinitis and patellar tendinitis. Sometimes PRP is used during surgery for rotator cuff repairs to help with tissue healing and pain.

What is PRP?

Platelet rich plasma is a portion of blood with a concentrated amount of platelets in it. A patient’s blood is drawn into a syringe then spun in a centrifuge to separate out the white blood cells, plasma, platelets, and red blood cells. The concentrated portion of platelet rich plasma is drawn into a separate syringe  and then injected back into the patient in the affected body part.

How does it work?

PRP is assumed to work because it has a concentrated amount of growth factors that play a role in tissue healing and regeneration. These growth factors recruit other cells in the body to the affected location to help with tissue repair. Because PRP helps with healing, it can also decrease pain, especially when used in the immediate post-operative period. Overall, there is limited support in clinical studies to show exactly how and why PRP works, but it is a very low-risk treatment that could help improve or speed up healing. With limited research available proving its benefits, most insurance companies in the US do not cover PRP injections.

What are the side-effects of PRP?

Since a PRP injection is a portion of a patient’s own blood, there are very few side-effects. The PRP injections initially promote the body’s inflammatory response to help heal tissue, so anti-inflammatories, like ibuprofen, should not be taken in the weeks before or after PRP treatments.

What does a PRP treatment involve?

In the gO office, about 60mLs of blood is drawn from a vein in the patient’s arm. The syringe goes into a centrifuge for about 15 minutes. After the blood is finished spinning in the centrifuge, the PRP portion is drawn into a separate syringe adn injected into the patient’s affected body part. Patients usually do a series of three injections over three weeks to experience the maximum benefit.

Be sure to ask our medical staff if PRP injections are right for you!

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