Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Joint Injections
What is PRP?
PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. Platelet rich plasma is concentrated platelets and growth factors derived from your own blood.
How Does It Work?
PRP contains highly concentrated platelets. Platelets have been identified to secrete growth factors, which are known to play a role in:
- Increasing tissue vascularity and increasing the rate of epithelial tissue production (wound healing)
- Attracting other cells that fight infection
- Acting as a seal during closures
- Providing and immediate surgical hemostatic agent (reduction of bleeding)
- Osteogenesis (bone regeneration and repair)
What Types of Problems Can Be Helped?
PRP therapy has shown to be highly effective with many forms of chronic pain due to tissue damage. Because of its proliferative nature, the tissues directly involved or the supporting tissues to the weakened area can be strengthened: this includes ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.
The following ailments are some of the most common problems remedied with PRP:
- Low back pain & sciatica
- Arthritic joints
- Tennis elbow
- Chronic shoulder & knee injuries
- Sports injuries
- TMJ dysfunction
- Disc inflammation
- Sprains, strains and repetitively injured, weak areas
How Long Before I See Results?
This is dependent on several factors including age, chronicity and severity of pain, the extent of tissue damage, lifestyle etc. As a general rule, within few treatments most people notice improvement. It is most important at this stage to maintain the prescribed regimen. The decrease or elimination of pain indicates the repair process is effectively taking place. However, it does not mean it is complete. This requires further care, evaluation and discussion with your physician. Please feel free to ask. Each situation requires its own protocol.
Risks, Complications, and Side Effects
Possible risks associated with the performance of the needle injection/aspiration may include but are not limited to: bleeding, infection, local pain, and fainting, allergic reaction.
As with any medical procedure, there are always associated risks. However, this procedure is likely to provide you with the proper healing of an injury and pain relief that had not been provided through one's own healing abilities. Nevertheless, the risks, complications, and most noted side effects include:
- Achiness or soreness to the injection site - which initially increases and can last several days.
- Allergy to any of the substances utilized during the procedure, such as the anesthetic, antiseptic, or dressing. This is usually minor and self-limiting.
- Local Bruising
- Infection - Very Rare. Most infections will present after the 48 hour mark with red, warm, injection site, and worsening pain.