Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

This treatment uses the patient’s blood products to provide pain relief, promote tissue healing, and improve tendon, muscle, and joint conditions. Blood is mainly a liquid called plasma, containing red cells, white cells, and platelets. Platelets contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors, which are very important in healing injured tissue and cartilage. PRP is plasma with many more platelets than typically found in the blood.

PRP has many uses. It has been shown to protect cartilage cells, slow deterioration, and improve pain in degenerative joint conditions. This procedure can be done in the office or combined with other cartilage repair surgeries.

WHAT CONDITIONS ARE TREATED WITH PRP?

Typical conditions treated with PRP are early arthritis and cartilage wear. PRP can also be used to treat chronic tendon inflammation.

HOW DOES PRP WORK?

PRP is a treatment using the patient’s blood products to provide pain relief, promote tissue healing and improve function for tendon and joint conditions. Blood consists of a liquid called plasma, which contains red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Platelets contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors that are very important in healing injured tissue and cartilage. PRP has concentrated platelet plasma with many more platelets than is typically found in the blood.

To prepare PRP, we must first draw blood from a patient. The platelets and plasma are then separated from other blood cells by placing the sample in a centrifuge for 5 minutes. The PRP is then injected into the area of concern using ultrasound to visualize the needle and ensure appropriate placement.

IS PRP PAINFUL?

PRP is not typically more painful than getting a patient’s blood drawn.

HOW QUICKLY DOES PRP WORK?

Typically, PRP has been shown to take up to two weeks to take effect, but its benefits can sometimes be seen sooner.

IS THERE ANY PATIENT WHO WOULD NOT BE A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR PRP?

Patients on chronic anti-inflammatory pills (i.e., Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Celebrex, etc.) should not undergo PRP injections until they are off this medication for ten days.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF PRP?

PRP is being used more often to treat common ailments associated with inflammation and tissue injury. There are specific operative techniques now being described that call the use of PRP at the time of surgery to promote healing of the surgical site.

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