PRP Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
PRP or platelet rich plasma prolotherapy is a treatment for individuals that suffer from an acute or chronic musculoskeletal injury. The main difference between PRP prolotherapy and dextrose prolotherapy is the solution being used. The use of concentrated growth factors is considered by many to be an exciting and new cutting edge therapy that can stimulate tissue repair and regenerate weakened, torn, or damaged ligaments and joints. PRP is derived from your own blood. After ﬁltering out the rest of the cells and plasma, a few platelets remain.
This highly concentrated amount of platelets — from 3 to 10 times that of normal blood — can be injected into the damaged areas and catalyze the growth of new soft-tissue. Blood platelets contain potent growth factors necessary to begin tissue repair and regeneration at the injury site. Concentrated platelets contain large reservoirs of growth factors that have the potential to greatly accelerate the normal healing process naturally. Most organizations, and the physicians associated with them, that teach prolotherapy and PRP agree that prolotherapy should be tried ﬁrst. Some of the beneﬁts of prolotherapy are as follows:
- It is less painful.
- It primes the area that is damaged which PRP does not.
- It is less expensive.
Since prolotherapy can usually ﬁx at least 80 – 85% of injuries, it is the ﬁrst and best choice. If healing is not attained with prolotherapy, then PRP would be your next logical choice.
PRP Frequent Questions
What is PRP Therapy?
PRP, as used in regenerative orthopedics, is a non-surgical healing treatment for healing soft tissue. PRP is injected into the affected region to stimulate and enhance healing. PRP is your own blood concentrated so that more platelets (a.k.a. growth factors) that are normally found in your blood are obtained.
What does PRP mean?
PRP stands for platelet rich plasma. Plasma is the ﬂuid portion of blood which contains cellular components such as red cells, white blood cells, and platelets. The Harvest method that Dr. Fields uses concentrates the platelets 7-10 times of what is normally found in blood. Other systems concentrate them, but to a lesser extent.
What conditions are treated with PRP?
Weakened, torn, or damaged ligaments, tendons, muscle tears, menisci or labrums are the most common soft tissue structures that are treated. PRP has also been effective in treating arthritis.
What are some common diagnoses treated with PRP?
- Knees: meniscus, ACL, MCL LCL, arthritis, knee cap instability.
- Shoulder: rotator cuff tears, labrum tears, tenositis. Hip: labrum, tenositis, Bursitis.
- Lower back: facet joints, arthritis, Sacro-Iliac dysfunction.
- Ankle/foot: Achilles dysfunction, tendonitis, arthritis, ankle sprains.
- Wrist/hand/ﬁnger: joint, tendonitis, ligament tears, arthritis, carpel tunnel.
- Elbow: tennis elbow (later epicondylitis, golfers elbow (medial epicondylitis).
How is PRP treatment administered?
The patient’s blood is collected and then spun in a centrifuge speciﬁcally designed to concentrate platelets. Second, a local anesthetic is provided to the affected region. The PRP is then injected into the affected area.
Is PRP curative?
PRP actually heals the injured region unlike pharmaceutical medications such as ibuprofen or cortisone which just take the pain away but do not heal the injury. How does PRP work to heal? Growth factors are released from large quantities of activated platelets at the site of injury. This leads to a reaction that initiates a healing cascade. Growth factors promote the healing of weakened, torn, or damaged soft tissue such as tendons, ligaments, meniscus, or labrum.
Is PRP painful?
Patients typically tolerate the procedure well although post-injection soreness is sometimes experienced. How many treatments do you need? Two to four treatments depending on the degree of injury and how long the injury has been there.
How far apart are treatments spaced?
Typically about every 6 weeks.
What can you expect after getting PRP?
For the ﬁrst 48 hours, swelling and mild discomfort are typical in the injected area. Therefore, all patients are provided with pain medicine after PRP. By day 3, these symptoms will begin to substantially resolve.
Are there side effects/complications of PRP?
Minimal side effects have been observed with treatment. Any stiffness or discomfort reported after PRP should resolve with time.
How long does it take the PRP to “work”?
Most patients notice some element of improvement by 2-6 weeks after PRP treatment. Symptom improvement is slow and subtle as days and weeks pass, with the usual report of original pain being lessened over time. Increased endurance and strength are typically reported