FAQ’s on PRP Therapy in Philadelphia
There are several stage of healing for bone and soft tissues. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a new and exciting area of medicine for the treatment of joints and damaged body structures. PRP involves intervention to help increase number of cells to stimulate the body’s own healing response.
What is PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma is produced from the patient’s own blood. It is concentrated blood cells, known as platelets. These cells circulate through the blood and are necessary for blood clotting. Blood consists of a liquid (plasma) and blood cells, such as platelets. These cells contain several factors necessary for cell recruitment, multiplication, and specialization.
How are platelets processed?
Once the blood sample is drawn from the patient, the blood is put into a centrifuge, which separates the blood from various components. Platelet-rich plasma is then collected and treated before being delivered into the injured area of soft tissue, joint, or bone.
How is PRP given?
PRP is given to the patient through an injection. The doctor uses ultrasound guidance to assist with precise placement. After the injection, the patient needs to avoid exercise for a brief period of time before beginning in a rehabilitation program.
How effective is platelet-rich plasma therapy?
Many animal science studies have shown that PRP treatment improves healing of joints, soft tissues, and bones. The increased number of cells will improve tendon strength. Clinical studies have also show that PRP helps with muscle regeneration in patients who have injured calf (gastrocnemius) muscles. Preliminary randomized control studies are promising involving tendon-related injuries and epicondylitis. One recent clinical study found that the success rate was 91% for the treatment of patellar tendinitis. One trial found an efficacy rate of 66%, with many patients reporting significant improvement in quality of life.
What conditions are treated with PRP therapy?
PRP treatment is used for a variety of acute and chronic problems. These include:
- Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
- Achilles tendinosis
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Rotator cuff tears
- Medical collateral ligament (MCL) injuries
- Tendon injuries
- Muscle injuries
- Ligament sprains and tears
- Pyriformis syndrome
- Sacroiliac joint pain
- Bicipital tendonitis
- Rotator cuff tendonitis
- Medial epicondylitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Peroneal tendonitis
What are the risks of platelet-rich plasma therapy?
PRP promises to optimize the initial inflammatory response of healing, so anti-inflammatory medicines must be stopped prior to PRP treatment therapy. Temporary side effects include soreness of the injected site, initial inflammation, and decreased mobility. Slight swelling, redness, and fever are also expected for a few days. These minor complications should resolve within 3-6 days. Serious risks include infection, bleeding, and tendon rupture, due to improper needle placement.
How is PRP therapy done?
After a small volume of blood is drawn from the patient’s vein, the blood is processed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge uses a process called fractionation to separate the individual blood components. After preparing the PRP solution, the patient is positioned on the procedure table, and the site is cleansed and sterilized with a special solution. The doctor uses a local anesthetic to numb the region, and the needle is guided into the target site using ultrasound visualization.
What are the benefits of PRP therapy?
PRP therapy is uses as an alternative to conventional treatment of chronic pain. PRP introduces growth factors into the damaged tissue to stimulate clearance of unhealthy tissue and boost the body’s natural healing ability. Improvement is seen within few 1-3 weeks.
Khan, K., & Scott, A. (2012). Overview of the management of overuse (chronic) tendinopathy. Retrieved from In: UpToDate, Basow. DS (Ed), Waltham, MA.
Mishra, A., & Pavelko, T. (2006). Treatment of Chronic Elbow Tendinosis with Buffered Platelet-Rich Plasma. Pain Review.
Rha et al. Comparison of the therapeutic effects of ultrasound guided platelet-rich plasma injection and dry needling in rotator cuff disease: A randomized controlled trial. Clin Rehab. 2012;27(2):113-122.
Sampson, S., Gerhardt, M., & Mandelbaum, B. (2008). Platelet rich plasma injection grafts for musculoskeletal injuries: a review. Curr Rev Musculoskelet Medicine, 165-174.
Volpi et al. Treatment of chronic patellar tendinosis with buffered platelet-rich plasma: a preliminary study. Medsport. 2007;60:595-603.