Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is an innovative treatment that uses the body’s own
cells to relieve pain and promote healing of certain musculoskeletal conditions.
Many professional players and hundreds of recreational athletes have undergone the relatively simple procedure with impressive results.  As part of our ongoing commitment to providing patients with leading edge treatment options, Orthopedic Specialists is currently offering this breakthrough treatment.

Injuries PRP is used to help

Although PRP therapy has been used for over twenty years in many different fields of medicine, such as cardiac surgery, oral surgery, dentistry, and peridontal implants, it has only started to get the recognition in recent years of it’s benefits in orthopedics. By using the body’s own blood cells, PRP therapy naturally stimulates and accelerates soft tissue healing and regeneration in certain soft tissue injuries and conditions, including:

  • Shoulder pain:  Rotator cuff tendinosis/tendonapathy, tricep tendonitis
  • Arm Pain:  Biceps tendonitis, elbow tendonities/tendonosis (tennis elbow), wrist tendonitis
  • Hip pain:  Trochanteric Bursitis, hamstring tendonitis, quadriceps tendonitis
  • Knee pain:  Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, patella tendinosis (jumper’s knee)
  • Ankle pain:  Achilles tendinosis

The body’s first response to an injury is to deliver platelets and other components in our blood supply to the injured area. These platelets release a variety of growth factors that promote healing.  In PRP therapy, a much higher concentration of platelets and growth factors compared to our normal blood supply are injected directly into the injured area boosting the body’s ability to heal and repair tissue. Preliminary studies have demonstrated that PRP therapy is associated with a reduction in pain and faster healing, and has decreased risks and costs as compared to surgical alternatives. In addition, because you are using a patient’s own blood, there is no risk of rejection or disease transmission.  As with any injection into the body, there is always a small risk of infection, however it is very rare.

How PRP works

PRP injections is an in-office procedure that involves obtaining a small sample of a patient’s blood, which is drawn similar to a lab test sample. The blood is then spun at high speeds in a centrifuge, which separates the platelets from the other blood components. (Orthopedic Specialists uses the FDA-approved MTF Sports Medicine Cascade System). The concentrated platelet-rich plasma is then injected into and around the site of injury, which appears to initiate the body’s own instinct to repair damaged tissue. The procedure is done with the use of ultrasound guidance to more accurately determine the proper location for the injection. The entire procedure takes approximately 45 minutes from beginning to end.

Pre and Post Procedure Information

It is highly recommended for one week prior to the procedure to discontinue the use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen-containing products, such as Motrin® or Advil®, and naproxen (Aleve®), as they may adversely affect the treatment outcome. Following the procedure, some localized soreness may occur, as with any injection. Some patients do report increased pain in the treatment area during the following week due to the accelerated healing process, this can be addressed with ice, heat, elevation, and acetaminophen (tylenol). As with any procedure, patients are encouraged to contact the office with any questions or concerns they may have. We recommend not overexerting the area once the procedure is done and for the rest of the evening to allow the concentrated platelets to adhere to the injured area. Most patients can expect to return to their jobs and light activities the following day after the treatment.  Many people report significant or even complete relief after the first injection however up to three injections may be administered within a 6-month period if needed.

Currently, many insurance companies do not cover PRP Therapy, as it is still considered by most to be “experimental”; however, researchers are optimistic that larger studies of its use in the treatment of joints, spine, bones and tendons will convince insurance companies to pay for this treatment. In fact, many physicians and researchers speculate that PRP Therapy may become part of the standard treatment protocol for many musculoskeletal conditions before surgical treatment is warranted. At this time, PRP Therapy is offered to patients either on a cash basis or patients that have an insurance which will pre-authorize payment.

PRP Articles

Cascade PRP Brochure (91KB PDF)
www.platelettherapy.com
www.nytimes.com
www.scientificamerican.com
www.orthosupersite.com