Platelet Rich Plasma

What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?

PRP  is a concentration of one type of cell, known as platelets, which circulate through the blood and are critical for blood clotting. Platelets and the liquid plasma portion of the blood contain PRP - Platelet Rich Plasmamany growth factors that are essential for the cell recruitment, multiplication and specialization that is required for healing.

What is PRP Treatment?

PRP therapy is administered as a same day, outpatient procedure that involves minimal down time. After a blood sample is obtained from a patient, the blood is put into a centrifuge, which is a device that separates the blood into its many components. A graft of the PRP is placed by injection precisely into the damaged area using image guidance ultrasound and/or fluroscopy.

Patients may feel sore at the injection site and should avoid exercise for a period of time immediately following the injection. A short course of physical therapy may be advised to accelerate progress.  Patients can feel incremental relief until the full benefit is realized, typically 6 – 8 weeks.

Is PRP Treatment Effective?

ONS physicians have successfully used PRP to treat patients with tendinitis, ligament tears, and mild to moderate arthritis.

What You Should Know About PRP

Because PRP is given to stimulate healing through an initial inflammatory response, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin should be stopped at the time of PRP treatment, as they can interfere with the healing process.

Also, PRP does contain endogenous growth factors, so some agencies consider it to be a performance-enhancing substance. For instance, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the United States Anti-Doping Agency forbid the injection of PRP within muscles because of the possibility that the growth factors could enhance a person’s performance. However, there are currently no data to suggest that PRP is actually a performance-enhancing substance. Major professional sports leagues have not yet addressed the topic of PRP.

Most insurance carriers do not cover PRP injections at this time.  It is important to check with your insurance company before you undergo the treatment.

Key Points to Remember

  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) comes from a patient’s own blood.

  • PRP is a concentrated source of growth factors and cellular signaling factors that play a significant role in the biology of healing.

  • Basic science studies show that PRP treatment may improve healing in many tissues.

  • Anti-inflammatory medicines should be stopped before and after PRP treatment is given.

  • It may take 6 – 8 weeks to feel significant pain relief.

  • PRP procedures may not be covered by your insurance.  You can speak with an ONS insurance specialist at 203-869-1145, ext. 279.

Schedule a consultation with a regenerative medicine specialist to learn if PRP is the right treatment for you.