Platelets are the means by which our bodies naturally heal themselves. They are typically known for their unique ability to clot blood. By applying a concentrated amount of PRP to an injury, or to a painful site caused by an illness, the healing process gets enhanced. Also, the fact that it involves very few risks and side effects makes it the more appealing to patients trying to minimize undesired results. PRP is derived from the patient’s own blood, therefore it can’t be rejected by the body. Its uses include, but are not limited to: pain management, sports injuries, and accelerating the process of healing.
Common injuries or conditions that PRP therapy has the potential of treating:
• Rotator Cuff Partial Tears or Tendonitis
• Shoulder Labrum Tears
• Epicondylitis (Golfer’s or Tennis Elbow)
• Biceps Tendonitis
• Triceps Tendonitis
• Hip Tendonitis
• Hip Labrum Tears
• Patellar Tendonitis
• Achilles Tendonitis
• Plantar Fasciitis
• Osteoarthritis (Shoulder, Hip, Knee and Ankle)
Since PRP therapy is a minimally invasive procedure, not much preparation is required. Your health concerns should be previously discussed with the doctor to determine whether PRP therapy is a suitable treatment for you. Make sure your doctor also has knowledge of all the medications you take. Anti-inflammatories like Aspirin, Motrin, Advil, Aleve and Naproxen are usually suspended at least one week before therapy. Staying hydrated is also of the essence. Abstain from alcohol and smoking since they both can be toxic to cells. Select a care advocate who is able to come with you on the day of the procedure and drive you home afterwards.
PRP therapy takes about 45 minutes. The patient’s blood is drawn and processed at high speeds in a centrifuge. The injured area is assessed with ultrasound, then the PRP is injected under ultrasound guidance into the affected or injured area. Local anesthetics are typically not used for the procedure due to the negative effects these medications have on the PRP.
Pain medications are often prescribed as the treated area may feel sore and painful immediately after treatment. However, these should only be taken as prescribed by a doctor. Cold therapy, rest and elevation are recommended for the first 48 hours. It is advised not to resume anti-inflammatories for a minimum of two weeks post injection. Resuming regular activities as tolerated is typically the way to reintegrate to your normal life.