What is Platelet Rich Plasma?
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP) is a procedure that uses your body’s natural healing properties to decrease the amount of time it takes to heal injuries to tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Often PRP is used to help treat a tear caused by a recent athletic injury or to help joint pain.
This procedure is relatively simple, minimally invasive, and performed in an outpatient environment. And it only takes about 30 minutes.
Common Conditions Treated with PRP
- Torn tendons and ligaments
- Muscle injuries
- Tennis elbow
- Golfers elbow
- Achilles injuries
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Lateral Epicondylitis
- Patellar Tendinitis
- Medial Collateral LIG
- Hamstring Tendinopathy
- Partial rotator cuff tears
Who can Benefit?
Professional and amateur athletes alike have been taking advantage of PRP, as well as patients with muscle injuries, or anyone experiencing joint pain. David came to us experiencing some pain in his ankle, watch the video and see how we helped him get back on the golf course.
How does PRP Work?
Blood is made up of a few different things. The liquid part (plasma) is made of water, salts, and proteins. More than half your blood is plasma. The solid part of your blood contains Red blood cells (oxygen transporters), white blood cells (infection fighters and immune system) and platelets (which help blood clot when you get a cut).
Platelets are the the part of your blood that are best known for clotting. They also contain hundreds of wonderful proteins called growth factors. These proteins are vital in the healing process. Plasma is the fluid or portion of your blood that the platelets are suspended in. A vial of your blood is treated to create a dose which is concentrated in these healing proteins and plasma. This concentrated dose is called Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP. In other words, we focus your bodies healing proteins directly into the area needing it.
What is the Procedure Like?
PRP is an outpatient procedure. We begin by drawing 15-30 cc of your blood and placing it into a machine called a Centrifuge. This machine spins the blood at rates of 3,500 revolutions per minute, and separates the plasma from the red and white blood cells. The resulting plasma contains 4-10 times the normal concentration of platelets. We are able to take this resulting platelet rich plasma concentration (PRP) prepare it for injection. A radiologist who is specifically trained will inject the PRP using Ultrasound Guidance to ensure it is placed in the precise location to be treated. Musculoskeletal Radiologists are highly trained in the body’s system of bones, joints, and associated soft tissues. This makes them the ideal specialist to administer PRP.
After your Injection
Post-procedure, you can expect the area to feel swollen and mildly painful, often compared to a dull ache. This is a good sign indicating the injection is working.
The injected area will also become mildly inflamed. This is because when your body sustains an injury, the area becomes swollen to start to the natural process your body uses to heal itself.
Steroid injections and anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen do the opposite. These methods are good for relieving pain but will slow the healing process.
After 2-5 days you can expect the pain to start receding.
The injection will increase strength in the area, reduce pain, and improve overall function for the long term.
Meet the Musculoskeletal Radiology Team