Regenerative Injection Therapy with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
One of the most exciting emerging procedures for soft tissue (muscle, ligament and tendon) injuries is Platelet Rich Plasma therapy (PRP). PRP injections are an increasingly popular option with physicians and patients alike, because of their ability to naturally speed the body’s healing process.
Regenerative Injection Therapy
Regenerative Injection Therapy utilizes your bodies own bioactive proteins, also know as growth factors, to replace, repair and regenerate tissue. Platelet Rich Plasma is used to deliver the growth factors directly to the pain initiating site.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a small volume of the patients own blood plasma concentrated with platelets and leukocytes (white blood cells). PRP is obtained by drawing a sample of blood from the patient and removing the red blood cells and plasma. This technology yields a high concentration of platelets and white blood cells that is 5-7 times normal.
When Tissue Injury Occurs
When Tissue Injury Occurs, platelets collect at the site and begin the clotting cycle. More importantly, these activated platelets release numerous growth factors that are directly responsible for tissue regeneration. Therefore, by increasing the concentration of these platelets, we can deliver a powerful mixture of growth factors directly to the injured tissue and dramatically enhance the body’s natural healing process. This treatment may lead to a more rapid, more efficient, and more thorough restoration of the tissue to a healthy state.
PRP has been used for over 20 years in numerous surgical fields to enhance bone grafting, accelerate wound healing and reduce the risk of infection after surgery. In recent years physicians have begun injecting PRP to treat chronic pain. Tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, rotator cuff tears, meniscal tears, osteoarthritis and chronic low back and neck pain are all being treated with the injection of PRP with the goal of regenerating degenerated connective tissue.
Musculoskeletal Ultrasound is used to properly identify the area of injury. A local anesthetic will be applied to the area followed by PRP injection with ultrasound guidance to ensure that the appropriate target is reached.
Following the Injection
Following the Injection, an “achy” soreness is often felt at the site of injury. This “soreness” is a positive sign that a healing response has been set in motion. This effect can last for several days and gradually decreases as healing and tissue repair occurs. It is important that anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen and Aspirin be avoided following PRP treatments. These medicines may block the effects of the intended healing response facilitated by the injection itself. It is acceptable to use Tylenol and apply ice and elevation as needed. You will be permitted to resume normal day to day activities and light exercise following injection. We suggest that you avoid strenuous lifting or high level exercise for at least several days after the injection.
A Regenerative Treatment
A Regenerative Treatment is not a “quick fix” and is designed to promote long-term healing of the injured tissue. The regeneration of collagen takes 4-6 months and may require multiple injections. For most cases 1-3 injections is required at 4-6 week intervals. Pain and functional recovery will be assessed 2-3 weeks after the injection to determine further therapy needs.
Clinical Research shows that PRP injections are extremely safe, with minimal risk for any adverse reaction or complication. Because PRP is produced from your own blood, there is no concern for rejection or disease transmission. There is a small risk of infection from any injection into the body, but this is rare. Research suggests that PRP has an anti-bacterial property which protects against infection.