WHAT IS PRP (PLATELET RICH PLASMA), AND WHAT IS IT USED FOR?
PRP is a concentration of platelets and growth factors that play a significant role in the biology of healing and tissue regeneration. It also contains other cell components that work in a together variety of ways to promote healing and prevent tissue degeneration. The therapeutic PRP dose delivers a 4-6 fold increase in platelet concentration compared to normal blood, thus concentrating the components responsible for healing when being injected into injured tissue.
HOW IS IT PERFORMED?
After a blood sample is obtained from a patient, the blood is put into a centrifuge which separates the blood into its many components. Platelet rich plasma can then be collected and delivered to an injured area of bone or soft tissue, such as a tendon, ligament, joint or disc, via an injection. Ultrasound or fluoroscopy guidance can assist in the precise placement of PRP in a process that usually takes a total of 20-30 minutes. There may be soreness at the site of the injection that can last for a few days. Most people return to work and normal day to day activities immediately after the injection.
DOES IT HURT AND IS IT SAFE?
A local anesthetic is used which results in minimal discomfort. Since PRP is prepared from your own blood, there is no risk of rejection or disease transmission and virtually no risk of infection.
HOW WELL DOES IT WORK?
There have been numerous clinical studies that show significant healing and long lasting reduction in pain of a variety of injuries. Common injuries include tendon and ligament damage, disc degeneration, as well as joint pain and arthritis. Results are proving PRP to be an effective and superior alternative to steroid injections which temporarily help alleviate pain symptoms but do not heal the cause of your pain. In a small study involving knee osteoarthritis, PRP treatment was shown to be more effective than hyaluronic acid viscosupplementation treatments. PRP may eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments such as long-term medication or surgery.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I REPEAT THIS PROCEDURE?
You may gain considerable to complete relief after the first injection. In some cases, especially when the problem has been chronic, additional PRP injections may be necessary. Up to three injections may be given within a six month time frame. These are usually performed at 4-6 weeks apart, if needed.
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTED RESULTS?
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 tissue before the damage progresses and the condition is irreversible. PRP therapy does not provide immediate relief; instead, it sets in motion a repair mechanism that takes several weeks before pain relief is felt by instigating and promoting tissue healing.
At The Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine (OSM) Center we utilize the collective skills of our exceptional providers to deliver the most complete musculoskeletal care available, including PRP injections. From your first appointment, you are cared for by a team specifically built based on the best treatment for your condition. If surgery is necessary, you will be paired with an OSM surgeon who has the expertise and experience in your specific condition. Our surgeons use the latest minimally invasive techniques where appropriate to ensure fast recovery. We have 5 locations throughout Fairfield County, CT. Contact us today to schedule a consult.