What is PRP therapy and who can benefit from it?
PRP therapy stands for Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy. It is a safe non-surgical procedure. It is a treatment that utilizes platelets from the patient’s own blood to help rebuild a damaged cartilage or even a damaged tendon. For many people, it has been successful not just in relieving the pain but actually getting the healing process started. The procedure can be done in the exam room and takes less than an hour. While in the exam room the patient’s blood is drawn and put into a centrifuge for 15 minutes so that the platelets can be separated out. Then using an ultrasound machine to guide them the doctor will inject the platelet-rich plasma directly into the damaged portion of the cartilage or tendon. Depending on the severity of the injury more than one injection may be needed.
After the procedure patients are put on a regimen or relative rest followed by physical therapy for about 6 weeks. The majority of PRP patients are able to return to most of their regular activities within 3 months.
Many athletes and active people suffer from chronic pain caused by osteoarthritis or tendon injuries. Many of them have tried conservative treatment options such as rest, medication, and physical therapy but have not found true relief. PRP therapy is recommended for patients who have moderate osteoarthritis in the shoulder, knee, or hip. Or for those who suffer from chronic tendonitis in the ankle or elbow.
Some things to keep in mind if you are considering PRP therapy.
People in the following categories are not good candidates for PRP therapy.
• Anyone with a cancer (such as prostate cancer or breast cancer), not in remission for at least 5 years
• Certain other malignancies or blood borne diseases that you are being treated for
• Any current infection
• Patients using a high dosage of Coumadin
• Patients with cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s Disease
• General procedural contraindication
• Patients with multiple medical issues may not be good candidates
If the injection is in your right knee or ankle you will not be allowed to drive yourself home so you should plan on bringing someone along to drive you home. If the injection is in the elbow or shoulder your arm will be placed in a sling for 48 hours to one week. If the injection is in your ankle you will need to wear a walking boot for up two weeks or more. You will be asked to come back for a follow-up visit in about 6 weeks. Not all insurance companies will cover PRP therapy so be sure to check with your insurance company before treatment to know what your financial responsibility will be.
If you are suffering from chronic pain and you would like to know if PRP treatment will help you come see our great team of doctors, we can help. Call us today to make your appointment at 425.462.9800.