Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a concentrated blood sample that contains high levels of platelets, a specialized type of blood cell that is critical to the body’s natural healing process. The concentration of platelets found in PRP is four to six times greater than that found in whole blood and contains large amounts of bioactive proteins, including growth factors that stimulate tissue generation and accelerate tissue repair. These growth factors are responsible for soft tissue repair, bone and tendon regeneration, development of new blood vessels, and stimulation of the wound-healing process.
PRP works by recreating and stimulating the body's healing process. To prepare PRP, a small amount of blood is taken and then placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins and, through centrifugal force, separates the PRP from the rest of the blood cells. The process takes less than 15 minutes and increases the concentration of platelets and growth factors up to 500%.
Once the PRP has been isolated, it is injected into the damaged area, stimulating the injury and causing mild inflammation that triggers the healing process. As a result of this natural process, new collagen—the primary structural protein of connective tissue—begins to develop. When this new collagen matures, it shrinks, tightening and strengthening the tendons or ligaments of the damaged area.
PRP therapy is non-surgical and delivers a broad range of growth factors in the proper concentration and ratios to help optimize conditions for healing. Clinical studies have shown that application of PRP can help reduce bleeding, minimize pain, reduce infection rates and healing time, and optimize overall healing. It has shown promising results for conditions such as plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, sprains and tears (Rotator Cuff, Patella, ACL, etc.), and muscle, ligament, and tendon strains that have failed other conservative treatments.
Patients who try PRP therapy can see a significant improvement in symptoms as well as remarkable return of function. This may eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments such as long-term medication or surgery.
PRP can be performed at our office. Blood is drawn and placed in a special centrifuge where the blood is spun at a high speed to separate the platelets from the red blood cells. The resulting platelet concentrate is used for the PRP treatment. While the blood is in the centrifuge, the injured area is injected with local anesthetic to numb it. Once the area is numb, the area is injected with the PRP. The treatment usually takes under an hour.
PRP therapy is minimally invasive and therefore involves minimal pain or discomfort. Because the affected area is anesthetized prior to injection, the injections cause only slight discomfort. When the local anesthetic wears off a few hours after the procedure, there is mild to moderate pain for the next day or two.
For the first week after the injections, it is critical for patients to avoid anti-inflammatories such as Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Celebrex, Mobic, etc. Also, patients should avoid using ice on the treated area. Both of these actions will decrease inflammation, which is part of the body’s healing process as it sends blood and needed nutrients to restore and rebuild the area.
For pain relief, patients may take Tylenol. A cam walker or soft cast may be used for three to four days after the injection to help with mobility. Most patients may return to normal gym activities in three to four weeks after PRP treatment.
After the initial PRP injection, patients are seen for a follow up in six to eight weeks. Some patients respond very well after just one treatment; however, usually one to three treatments are necessary for the best results.
We have two office locations to better serve you: Villa Park and Plainfield. Contact us today to learn if PRP Therapy is right for you.