Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP): Harnessing the Healing Power
WHAT IS PLATELET-RICH PLASMA?
Platelet Rich-Plasma (PRP) is blood plasma with concentrated platelets. The concentrated platelets in PRP contain huge reservoir of bioactive proteins, including growth factors that are important to tissue regeneration and repair.
HOW DOES PRP WORK?
After consent is obtained for the procedure, a small amount of blood is taken from the patient and placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins the blood and the platelet rich plasma (PRP) is separated. The PRP is injected under sterile condition to prevent infection by an experienced physician to precisely localize the site of the tendon/soft tissue abnormality.
WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF TREATMENT?
Patients report improvement in symptoms and return of function, but it takes time; six to eight weeks. This procedure may eliminate the need for more invasive treatments, such as surgery or prolonged use of medication. In some cases, an additional injection may be warranted.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT IMMEDIATLEY FOLLOWING THE PROCEDURE?
The anesthetic utilized to numb the skin generally wears off in 1-2 hours. Mild pain and swelling may occur at the injection site at this time. Bleeding at the site of the injection can occur, but usually subsides within a short period of time. If a BandAid has been placed over the site, it may be removed within 2-3 hours following the procedure. Shower is allowed. If you feel severe pain at injection site following the PRP, please inform the medical staff of the situation prior to leaving the department, so you can be evaluated and accommodations can be made so you are able to leave the hospital safely.
WHAT CAN I DO? WHAT SHOULD I NOT DO?
While the long-acting anesthetic agent is working, the area injected will be numb. You must be particularly careful not to traumatize the area during this time.
THE FOLLOWING POSTPROCEDURE INSTRUCTIONS IS ADVISED:
- Minimize activity for 24 hours after the procedure.
- Your diet can be the same as usual.
- Do not take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) for 2 weeks following the procedure.
- An alternative pain medication will be prescribed.
- Ice compress may be applied to the area as needed; 15 minutes every hour if there is pain.