What is PRP?

Platelet-rich plasma or PRP is an "autologous blood therapy" that uses a patient's own blood components to stimulate a healing response in damaged tissues.

How Does it Work?

In response to an injury or tissue damage, your body naturally recruits platelets and white blood cells from the blood to initiate a healing response. Under normal conditions, platelets store numerous growth factors which are released in response to signals from the injured tissue. Modern technology allows us to concentrate platelets and white blood cells from your blood, and induce this growth factor release as the solution is injected  into injured tissue, simulating this same healing response in a more powerful form.

Platelet injection therapy has changed the way orthopedic specialists treat sports injury patients.  The use of minimally invasive protocols that involve ultrasonically guided platelet rich plasma (PRP) injections has provided the first regenerative treatment for damaged muscle, tendon, ligament and soft–tissue injuries.  When PRP is injected into the damaged area it stimulates the tendon, ligament or muscle with a high concentration of growth factors that triggers the healing cascade. As a result new tissue begins to develop. As this tissue matures it begins to shrink causing the tightening and strengthening of the tendons, ligaments and muscle of the damaged area.

What Conditions May Benefit from PRP Injection?

Lower Leg and Foot

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Shin Splints
  • Peroneal tendonitis
  • Ankle sprains
  • Achilles tendonitis or partial tears

Knee Pain

  • Patellar tendonitis/tendinosis
  • Quadriceps muscle injuries
  • Ligament sprains or tears
  • Bursitis

Hip Pain

  • Pyriformis syndrome
  • Trochanteric Bursitis
  • Ischial bursitis
  • Pubic symphysis pain
  • Sacroiliac joint pain
  • Hamstring tendonitis or tears

Shoulder and Arm Pain

  • Rotator Cuff tendonitis, tendonopathy or partial tears
  • Acromio-clavicular joint pain or arthritis
  • Bicipital tendonitis
  • Medial and Lateral epicondylitis (golfers & tennis elbow)
  • Ulnar Collateral Ligament sprain or tear

Treatment Process

To prepare PRP, a small amount of blood is taken from the patient. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins and through a multi-functional process separates the plasma from the blood producing the PRP.  Once the platelets are concentrated, the preparation is then injected into the injured body part, frequently under ultrasound guidance.

Treatment plan

Depending on the severity and duration of your injury, one to three PRP injections are suggested. Following the initial treatment with PRP, a follow up visit occurs 2-3 weeks later. At this visit an evaluation of your response to the initial therapy is performed and a decision is made regarding the need for additional PRP treatments. Frequently, chronic injuries require more than one injection. In both acute and chronic injuries, injections may be combined with an exercise or physical therapy program to enhance the success of the treatment.

 

Are PRP injections safe?

Research and clinical data show that PRP injections are extremely safe, with minimal risk for any adverse reaction or complication. Because PRP is produced from your own blood, there is no concern for rejection or disease transmission. There is a small risk of infection from any injection into the body, but this is rare. Of note, recent research suggests that PRP may have an anti-bacterial property which protects against possible infection.

Recent studies suggest that PRP is bacteriocidal to Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas: " Platelet rich plasma appears to be effective in preventing growth of Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus Aureus. Bactericidal effects are also noted ."