1-Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver, “Hines Ward, received PRP treatment to his knee to treat a Medial collateral ligament sprain before and was able to play in the Super bowl.”
2-Tiger Woods received four injections of PRP in his left knee following surgery.”
3- “ PRP injections in his elbow may have been the reason that Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Takashi Saito was able to return to the mound for the 2008 Major League Baseball playoffs."
4- NY Mets pitcher “Pedro Feliciano was quite relieved when his orthopedic surgeon suggested an alternative treatment for his shoulder pain, PRP therapy, in addition to rehab. Rather than spend months out of commission which would have been the case if Feliciano opted to have surgery, the recommended rehabilitation/PRP therapy plan should only take about six weeks. This isn’t the first time Feliciano has undergone PRP therapy. He first used the ground-breaking procedure in 2009 after injuring his hamstring.”
5- Top tennis player, “Rafael Nadal used PRP injection for his knee to help resolve his knee injury and helped him return to top form several times.”
What is this “magical” treatment called PRP?
Increasingly patients are asking questions about the PRP procedure. They want to know if this “incredible” treatment that has helped many professional athletes, can help them with their ailments.
PRP is Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy. It is a unique technology that stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself. PRP utilizes a patient’s own platelets and growth factors to stimulate a healing response within a damaged tendon or joint and help restore healthy functioning tissue. It is used to help individuals as well as professional and competitive athletes with nagging musculoskeletal injuries.
What is the injection used for?
The procedure is indicated for many musculoskeletal (muscle, joint tendon) and arthritic conditions that have not responded to conservative treatment and therapies. These include but are not limited to various spine injuries such as sacroiliac joint dysfunction, hip and knee tendinitis and moderate arthritis , achilles tendon injuries, and plantar fasciitis, chronic tendinopathies in the elbow such as lateral epidondylitis (tennis elbow) and medial epicondylitis ( Golfer’s elbow), various shoulder injuries including rotator cuff tendonitis and bursitis.
How does it work and how is it administered?
Blood is composed of red blood cells, platelets, white blood cells and plasma. Patient’s blood is drawn and spun in a centrifuge for several minutes. The centrifuge separates the platelets from the rest of the blood. This platelet rich plasma is then extracted from the mixture and injected into the injured tissue or joint. PRP promotes release of growth factors enabling the body to naturally heal itself. Ultrasound guidance is used to inject the PRP directly into the area, ensuring accurate placement of PRP.
Pre and post procedure information
-Do not take any anti-inflammatory medication like Advil, Aleve, Mobic, etc. 1 week before the procedure or 6 weeks after the procedure.
-Care after the procedure varies depending on the area of body injected. As a general guideline, for ankle injections patients need to wear a walking boot for 3 days. For knee tendon injection patients are required to wear a knee immobilizer for 3 days. For knee joint injection for osteoarthritis, patients rest the day after the procedure and return to regular activities. . For shoulder issues a sling may be required for 3 days. For wrist pain and tennis elbow/golfers elbow a wrist brace is used for 3 days
When do I feel better and frequency of injection?
In general patients begin to feel better about 4-6 weeks after the injection, but they should continue to improve over time. A quality post procedure physical therapy is generally indicated to help regain mobility and strength and optimize function. Patients are scheduled to follow up 6 weeks post procedure to assess progress from the injection. Further treatment will depend on the relief from the first injection. Repeat injections may be considered depending on the response to the procedure. Patients may require up to 3 injections.
What are the side effects of the procedure?
With any needle injection, there is a minimal risk of bleeding and infection. Given that PRP uses a patient’s own blood, it is uncommon to have a major side effect or an allergic reaction. It is common to feel soreness after the injection for a few days.
How do I know if I am a candidate for the procedure?
If you have any of the above conditions and are interested in learning more, you should schedule a formal consultation. Like most treatments, it is very important to carefully review your medical history and determine if the procedure is the best option for you.
Is PRP covered by insurance?
Currently insurances do not pay for the procedure.
Who is not a candidate for PRP?
-Patient actively being treated for a malignancy.
-Patient with current infection, fever or illness.
-Blood born cancer such as leukemia or lymphoma not in remission for the past five years.
-Steroid injection within two weeks of PRP.