Platelet-Rich Plasma is currently a very exciting area of medicine. It can be used in joints, in tendons, in aesthetic procedures and probably even in promoting Hair Regrowth.
There is much on-going research in this field and new uses and results are being released all the time.
What is PRP?
PRP stands for platelet rich plasma. Blood, in addition to red and white blood cells, contains platelets which are rich in growth factors. Growth factors promote normal healing by restoring the normal architecture and strength of the damaged tissue. In a platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection, the patient's own blood is withdrawn and spun at high speeds, resulting in higher concentrations of the patient's own growth and healing factors, which are then injected into the injured area promoting a more potent healing response.
Is PRP new?
No, the technology has been used for years in surgical applications and wound care, initially as a healing adjunct to open heart surgery. The use of PRP for musculoskeletal injuries is fairly new and evolving into a promising treatment for both acute and chronic injuries. It is generally accepted that there is a significant response rate to PRP in certain regions of the body.
Do I have to worry about the use of blood products?
No, the patient's own blood is used for the PRP procedure so there is no transfusion risk. Never would a patient be exposed to another person's blood.
What do I have to do prior to the procedure?
Once the diagnosis is made and the PRP injection is scheduled, the patient should avoid all anti-inflammatory medications for 7 days prior to procedure. This includes prescription anti-inflammatory medications such as Mobic and Celebrex, as well as over the counter naproxen, alleve and ibuprofen .
How long does it take?
The entire process takes about 30 minutes. The majority of the time involves drawing and processing the patient's blood for the injection. The actual procedure takes only a few minutes.
What can I expect during the procedure?
An assessment of the affected region will be made prior to the injection. Using sterile equipment, approximately 15-30cc of the patient's blood is drawn from a vein and placed in a specialized tube to be centrifuged; this step takes around 10 minutes. The under sterile technique, 2-6cc of concentrated PRP is injected into the affected/injured area. Since local anesthetics can inhibit the PRP, no local anesthetics are used, but due to the small needle size, pain is still minimal.
After the procedure, pain and stiffness of variable intensity and length is common. It may be mild and respond to simple analgesics (Tylenol up to 2.5gm per day) or be more severe and require strong painkillers (tramadol). It usually peaks at 3 days post procedure and may limit ability to work or use the affected area; light duties or complete rest may be required for a short period of time. This inflammatory response is actually part of the healing process.. It is frequently seen in those with severe and/or chronic tendon or joint problems:
Bruising is usually minor and is usually related to the injection itself.
Infection is very rare as sterile equipment and techniques are used.
Tendon rupture is very uncommon. It is thought that this may be due to symptom improvement following injection (and subsequent overuse), or progression of advanced tendon disease despite the injection.
Non-response to injection may occur in 20% (or more) of patients based on the current data.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs such as naproxen, aspirin, and ibuprofen) should not be taken for 14 days after your PRP injection. For the first two days (or until the injection pain subsides), rest of the affected region is advised. If there is little or no change following one injection, a second, or even a third, injection may still result in significant improvement. There are many factors that may influence a patient's response to the injection. These include, but are not limited to, a patient's platelet levels, patient age, current tobacco use, current diet, general health, as well as adherence to the post-PRP rehabilitation protocol and overuse of the affected area after the injection.
Currently, insurance companies do not cover PRP injections. However, that should change in a few years. If you are interested, we can provide you with a detailed breakdown of the out-of-pocket cost for a PRP injection, they typically range from $250-350 depending on body area and severity of the condition.
For the most up-to-date information on our accepted private health insurance plans
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731 - 584 - 1430