What you need to know about Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)

PRP injection is a non-operative treatment option that relieves pain by naturally promoting long-lasting healing of musculoskeletal conditions.  PRP is already popular among professional athletes. Many have attributed PRP injections with enabling them to return back to regular activity and competition after a sports injury. This technique is also showing promising results for conditions such as arthritis, tendonitis, and ligament injuries. PRP is not something that wears off over time such as a traditional pain injection like cortisone. Although short-acting, cortisone is a popular choice because it works quickly and also because it is usually covered by insurance. However, PRP provides patients with a long-lasting, potentially permanent solution.

How does PRP Work?

PRP is derived from your own blood by taking a sample, placing it in a special tube, and spinning the blood in a centrifuge for about 15 minutes.  This separates the whole blood into its components including red blood cells, platelets, and plasma. The middle layer constitutes PRP which contains highly concentrated platelets. Platelets are the cells normally known for their importance in clotting blood, however, they also contain hundreds of proteins called growth factors that are important in the healing of injuries. The basic idea behind PRP injections are to deliver high concentrations of growth factors to an area of injury stimulating a healing process and reducing inflammation in the tissue. PRP stimulates and accelerates the body’s natural healing process.

PRP Procedure

  • A health professional will draw your blood from an arm vein and place in centrifuge to concentrate the PRP.
  • Once PRP is ready, it will then be injected into the affected area. The affected area may include a tendon or a joint which can cause some discomfort during and possibly after the procedure.
  • The entire procedure typically takes about 20-30 minutes.
  • It is expected to take up to 6-8 weeks to adequately assess your response to the PRP injection.

Could Surgery be Avoided with PRP?

PRP therapy may improve the chance of healing and diminish the opportunity for escalation of an injury. Avoiding surgery is highly dependent on the extent of the injury. Clinical studies using both ultrasound and MRI images have shown definitive tissue repair after PRP treatment confirming the healing process.

If you are considering PRP injections, you can schedule with one of our providers for evaluation and treatment at AVORS Medical Group. Contact us now to set up an appointment at 661-726-5005.