What is PRP ?
PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. Platelet rich plasma is exactly that, it is plasma that is composed mainly of one's own platelets. After obtaining a sample of blood from you, it is centrifuged or spun so that the individual components are separated, leaving the remaining fluid or plasma rich with platelets.
What is so significant about Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?
Innately, within our body, platelets are the cells which assisting in the healing process. When we injure a part of the body, the platelets automatically migrate to the site of injury, initiating a healing response by releasing numerous growth factors and other proteins which promote healing. By directly providing a rich source of platelets into an injured site, we provide more healing factors, as it enhances the body's natural healing capacity, leading to a more efficient and thorough restoration of the tissue to a healthy state. Many conditions have been treated successfully with PRP, including, but not limited to:
•. Patellar Tendonitis/tendinosis
•. Quadriceps muscle injuries
•. Rotator Cuff tendonitis, tendonopathy, or partial tears
•. Bicipital tendonitis
•. Medial and Lateral epicondylitis of the elbow ( golfers & tennis elbow)
•. Ulnar Collateral Ligament (hand) sprain or tear
•. Achilles tendonitis or partial tears
What does the treatment entail?
•. Blood sample from the patient, which is placed in centrifuge to separate plasma rich with platelets (takes about 10 min-20min)
•. PRP is collected into a sterile syringe
•. The skin is prepared using an antiseptic agent, and the skin along with the soft tissues are anesthetized with a local numbing agent
•. The PRP filled syringe is then guided into the relevant body site with or without the aid of Ultrasound
•. Depending on the severity and duration of the injury, several injections may be administered in one visit.
◦. A greater degree of discomfort may occur if ▪. Underlying tissue is severely inflamed or painful
▪. A previous bad experience has resulted in a fear of needles, or there is a general anxiety/phobia of needles and other medical procedures.
•. Based on the degree and duration of injury, PRP injections may be needed for several months, ranging 3-6 months.
Risks, Complications, and Side Effects
As with any medical procedure, there are always associated risks. However, this procedure is likely to provide you with the proper healing of an injury and pain relief that would be provided through one's own healing abilities. Nevertheless, the risks, complications, and most noted side effects include:
•. Achiness or soreness to the injection site- which initially increases and can last several days, but gradually decreases with time, usually within 48 hours
•. Allergy to any of the substances utilized during the procedure, such as the anesthetic, antiseptic, or dressing. This is usually minor and self limiting.
•. Local Bruising
•. Infection- Rare. Most infections will present after the 48 hour mark with red, warm, injection site, and worsening pain.
1. Avoid use of NSAIDs, including Advil, Aleve, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Voltaren, Aspirin, for 3-4 weeks post injection, as it will interfere with the beneficial effects of the PRP treatment.
2. Reduce physical activity and exercise. Avoid strenuous lifting or high level exercises at least for several days after injection
3. Light exercises and normal daily activities are permitted.