PRP Therapy Explained
The acronym PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. Platelets are readily available in the human blood. The injection of the patient’s own concentrated platelets in the form of Platelet Rich Plasma into an injury site has been shown to jump start and accelerate healing in that region.
This form of therapy is known for its effectiveness and versatility in the treatment of both chronic and sudden-onset sports injuries. The goal is to accelerate healing of musculoskeletal injuries by re-using the body’s own growth factors present in Platelet Rich Plasma.
The Treatment Process
When undergoing this treatment, a board certified medical professional will extract about one to three syringes of the patients own blood. Which is then processed through a special centrifuge designed to separate the platelets from the rest of the blood. After this concentrating process, the patient’s blood platelets (containing the healing growth factors) will be directly injected into the injured region. Frequently, ultrasound imaging guidance will be used to ensure the accuracy of the injection.
What Parts of the Body Can Benefit from PRP?
PRP injection treatment can be used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. At our Portland PRP clinic we use PRP injection therapy for all sorts of injuries and conditions in the hips, knees, shoulders, wrists, ankles and more. Scientific research has shown great promise in the application of platelet rich plasma for the repair of highly damaged tissues.
Some of the areas of the body this therapy targets are:
- Tendon Injuries
Damaged tendons are often tricky to treat, especially if the area in need of treatment is one that is frequently utilized in daily life. With PRP injection therapy, a sports injury specialist can target the injury site directly and speed up that area’s self-healing process.
This clinical study delineates the efficacy of PRP in the treatment of chronic conditions like osteoarthritis. The study determined that PRP therapy shows great promise as a solution for adverse musculoskeletal conditions.
- Sports Injuries
Sometimes damaged joints experience a lack of blood flow and therefore require more time and focused care to heal. However, with PRP, the range of motion and stability of an injured joint or ligament can improve dramatically . Many athletes have turned to this type of safe, minimally-invasive therapy to treat their injuries so they can return to engaging in high levels of physical activity sooner.
Is PRP Safe and Pain Free?
PRP is regarded as one of the safest regenerative therapies available today since it uses substances that originate from the patient’s own body. Depending on the area of treatment, this remedy is generally considered to be a low risk, minimally painful procedure. For example, deeper injections in more sensitive areas may require the use of a local anesthetic to minimize pain. However, in its entirety, the procedure is relatively pain free and the patient can expect to be in and out of the doctor’s office in just under one hour.
What to Expect After Receiving PRP Injection Therapy?
Although healing will not happen overnight, it can happen more quickly with the use of this form of injection therapy. Post-PRP procedure, you may experience mild discomfort or swelling at the injection site for the first few days. This is completely normal and is a sign that your body is responding to the procedure in a healthy manner.
PRP treatments are generally considered to speed up your body’s recovery process and results can be seen within several weeks after the first treatment or possibly even sooner. There are some medical conditions that may need additional return visits for more injections. Even if dealing with a chronic problem, frequently one PRP injection is all it takes to achieve and maintain results.
Be sure to book a post-treatment follow-up so that your doctor can ensure the PRP injection is doing its job and determine if more treatments will be needed.
To assess whether you are a good candidate for the PRP procedure, please contact our Sports Medicine Clinic to book a physician evaluation.