Platelet Rich Plasma

Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment

With recent advancements in both the field of medicine and technology, there are unique ways to capture the body’s own ability to heal itself and magnify that effect 1000x fold. That is the concept behind platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatments. PRP is harvested from a patient’s blood. Blood is drawn from the patient and is concentrated using sophisticated centrifuges. The goal is to obtain a high yield of one specific component found in blood plasma (the liquid part of blood) called platelets. The main function of platelets is to help form blood clots; however, these microscopic cell fragments play critical role in the inflammatory and thus the healing process. That is due to the various enzymes, chemicals, and factors that are contained within the platelets.

 



What Conditions Do PRP Injections Treat?

The use of PRP injections has increased over the years to treat a variety of musculoskeletal injuries. These include the following:

  • Chronic tendon injuries (tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, Achilles tendinosis, etc)
  • Acute ligament injuries (ACL tears, rotator cuff tears)
  • Acute muscle injuries (hamstring tears, bicep tears, etc)
  • Osteoarthritis in joints (knee, shoulders, hip)
  • Labral tears (shoulder, hip)
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Plantar Fasciitis

Who Is A Candidate For Treatment?

After exhausting conservative treatment options including a comprehensive physical therapy regimen, individuals may be considered candidates for PRP injections. Often, one injection is not enough to provide the desired outcome, which is complete repair of the injured soft tissue.

What Are The Advantages Of PRP?

One clear benefit of PRP treatment is that it is derived from each individual patient, which reduces the risk of any allergic or adverse immunologic response.  Additionally, unlike corticosteroids, there is no change in metabolic functions (blood sugar levels, bone integrity, etc).

Potential Side Effects of Platelet Rich Plasma Injections

Because PRP treatments involve injecting substances that come from your own body, they’re considered an especially safe treatment option. Patients won’t experience an allergic response. However, whenever a needle is placed in the body, there is the potential for side effects. These issues are rare and happen very seldom, but they include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling or bruising
  • Pain at the injection site
  • Nerve injuries
  • Tissue damage

Soreness for a few days is common after the PRP procedure and will subside on its own. This issue can usually be treated with acetaminophen. These side effects should not be a concern, as the physicians at Spine Institute of North America take every precaution to make your PRP treatment a safe experience.

Recovery Time After PRP Treatment

After your injection, you may experience some soreness, so it’s probably a good idea to wait until the following day to return to work. However, some patients end up resting for a few days after the procedure.

PRP is not an instant fix for pain, and depending on what kind of condition is being treated, recovery time varies from patient to patient. But as it generates healthy tissue, patients report feeling the effects of the procedure in a few weeks. In general, you should expect to start feeling relief from painful symptoms in three to four weeks. The healing process usually continues for three to six months.

Success rates for platelet rich plasma therapy also vary depending on conditions being treated. However, these treatments have an estimated 60 to 80 percent success rate, even for injuries that are notoriously hard to heal.

Are You A Good Candidate For PRP?

After trying more conservative options, discuss with your physician at Spine Institute of North America if PRP is right for you. Some considerations that may not make PRP ideal for you include a history of certain cancers and infections. Otherwise, most individuals are candidates if you have exhausted other treatment options.

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