What is platelet rich plasma (PRP)?
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a revolutionary new treatment that relieves pain by promoting long lasting healing of musculoskeletal conditions. When the body suffers a soft tissue injury, its natural response is to deliver platelet cells to the area. Packed with growth and healing factors, platelets and other cells initiate repair and attract the critical assistance of stem cells. PRP therapy’s natural healing process intensifies the body’s efforts by delivering a higher concentration of platelets directly into an area of injury.
How does it work?
To create PRP therapy, a small sample of your blood is drawn (similar to a lab test sample). The blood is placed in a centrifuge and spun at high speeds, separating the platelets from the other components. The concentrated platelet rich plasma (PRP) is then injected into and around the point of injury, jump-starting and significantly strengthening the body’s natural healing signal. Because the patient’s own blood is used, there is no risk of a transmissible infection and a very low risk of allergic reaction.
In short- PRP provides the necessary components to increase the body’s natural healing process, stimulating and accelerating the response, without surgery, drugs or side effects.
WHAT KIND OF PAIN OR INJURY IS PRP USED FOR?
This rapidly emerging technique is showing exciting potential and positive results with many different injuries and chronic conditions.
- Osteoarthritis (of the knee, shoulder, hip, elbow, thumbs, and spine)
- Rotator cuff tears
- Chronic plantar fasciitis / foot and ankle pain / Achilles tendinitis
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, MCL sprains and meniscus tears
- Labral tears of the hip and shoulder
- Pelvic pain and instability
- Back and neck injuries
- Post-concussion syndrome
- Cervicocranial syndrome
- Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS)
- Tennis elbow
- Ankle sprains
- Ligament sprains
- Sports injuries
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED RESULTS?
Initial improvement may be seen within a few weeks (depending on injury), gradually increasing as the healing progresses. Research studies and clinical practice have shown PRP therapy 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 becomes irreversible.
HOW LONG UNTIL I SEE RESULTS?
Each situation is unique and the length of treatment depends on a number of factors: nutritional status, ability to heal, overall health and the severity of the injury. Prolotherapy treatments are administered on an individual basis, every two to three weeks on average. Some patients may experience complete relief from pain and restoration of function after only one or two treatments.
In general, chronic back and neck problems require between six to twelve sessions. Smaller joints may take from one to four treatments, while knees and ankles can take anywhere from three to six injections. It can take up to six weeks after the injection for the body to complete the healing process. These are general estimates and actual healing time depends on the severity of the injury, the chronicity of the injury, and the person’s individual genetics for healing.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING MY FIRST VISIT?
The procedure takes approximately one hour, including preparation and recovery time. Performed safely in a medical office, PRP therapy relieves 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.
On your first visit, the doctor will do a complete medical and full musculoskeletal examination. He will look for referred pain and evaluate each patient for pelvic tilt/functional leg length discrepancy. If prolotherapy is deemed the best course of treatment, the doctor will perform a series of injections, comprised of an anesthetic and an inflammatory agent, into the damaged area. This will signal the body that there is an area that needs repair.
Our Doctor will also evaluate each patient for a functional leg length discrepancy. This tilt, which is acquired, not congenital, can cause joint dysfunction in the spine, sacroiliac joint, hips, pyriformis, knees, and ankles, and can contribute to limping.