What is PRP?
Platelet Rich Plasma Platelets are solid particles in human blood mostly known for their clotting properties. However, they also contain natural growth factors that the body uses to enhance healing. PRP is plasma in which the platelets have been concentrated.
What Does PRP Do?
Although results vary, PRP has been shown in a number of studies to decrease pain and inflammation and enhance healing. The media has recently focused on some high-profile athletes who have traveled overseas to have this procedure.
What Is PRP Used For? PRP is an ideal alternative to total joint replacement and cortisone injections for patients with moderate arthritis of the knee, shoulder, hip, or other joints.
What are the Results?
Most, but not all, patients have been substantially improved in the literature and in our personal experience: usually within the first week. The injection can be repeated. Unlike cortisone, PRP does not harm tissue.
How is PRP Prepared & Administered?
In our office, a small amount of blood (less than one-tenth of one unit) is removed from the patient’s arm vein. This blood is spun down in a centrifuge to separate out the red blood cells. The remaining plasma is spun down again at a faster rate of speed which separates the platelets into a pellet. Excess plasma is removed. The platelet pellet is resuspended into the remaining plasma. This “platelet-rich plasma” or PRP is then injected into the affected area under ultrasound guidance to ensure it goes to the desired location. No sedation or anesthetic is needed or used. The entire procedure takes less than one hour.
Are There Any Risks to PRP?
PRP injection is exceedingly safe. Patients can use the affected area immediately. Some will have soreness lasting a few days. Any injection carries a very small risk of infection or of the patient feeling faint as a result of being injected. There is no radiation exposure from the ultrasound-guided injection: unlike x-ray guided injections performed in some centers.
Because we have our own laboratory, we are able to offer it very inexpensively, for a fraction of the usual cost.
Problems That Can Be Treated
PRP has been used to treat a variety of problems. Some of the problems that can be treated with PRP include:
- Arthritis and pain in the knee
- Arthritis and pain in the shoulder
- Arthritis and pain in the hip
- Arthritis in other joints
Before You Have PRP
Do Not Take any of the Following Medications (NSAIDS) for 5 days before the procedure.
Aspirin Aleve Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) Naproxen Indomethacin (Indocin) Daypro Relafen Voltaren Celebrex Dolobid Ansaid Vioxx Bextra
It is OK to take Tylenol. If you have been told by a doctor to take a baby aspirin every day, continue taking this. If you are unsure if something you are taking is an NSAID, please contact our office or your pharmacist
Let us know if you are taking blood thinners. On the day of the appointment, it will take about an hour to prepare and inject the PRP. You should not take any NSAIDs for 1 week after the procedure (see the above list).