• Outstanding care
    for all hand, wrist & elbow conditions
  • Outstanding care
    for all hand, wrist & elbow conditions
  • Outstanding care
    for all hand, wrist & elbow conditions
  • Outstanding care
    for all hand, wrist & elbow conditions

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

What is Platelet Rich Plasma?

Our blood is comprised of a liquid component called plasma and solid components which include the platelets, red blood cells (RBCs) and white blood cells (WBCs). Platelets are essential for blood clotting. They also consist of growth factors, which are special proteins involved in our body’s healing process.

Platelet rich plasma or PRP refers to blood that has high concentration of platelets and plasma without RBCs and WBCs. PRP contains 5 to 10 times the number of growth factors than a normal blood sample thus enhancing the healing capability of the PRP.

How is Platelet Rich Plasma obtained?

To obtain platelet rich plasma, a blood sample is withdrawn from the patient. Then the sample blood is subjected to a process called centrifugation where the blood is spun in a machine separating the platelets from the other blood cells, which increases their concentration in the plasma.

Indications for Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

Platelet rich plasma is a remedial therapy that can be used to treat a variety of orthopedic conditions such as:

  • Chronic tendon injuries including tennis elbow, Achilles tendonitis and inflammation of the knee tendons.
  • Acute ligament and muscle injuries such as knee sprains and over-stretched hamstring muscles in the thighs.

Research is still ongoing to determine the effectiveness of platelet rich plasma therapy in the treatment of fractures, knee arthritis and as a surgical intervention to repair torn rotator cuff tendons in the shoulders or anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knees.

Procedure for a Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

Your surgeon may anesthetize the injured region with a local or general anesthetic. Next, a PRP injection is injected at the injured site. Sometimes an ultrasound guidance may be required for proper needle placement. In some patients, like those affected with Achilles tendonitis, a mixture of local anesthetic and PRP may be injected directly into the inflamed tissues in the heel.

Effectiveness of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

The results of platelet rich plasma therapy depend upon the following factors:

  • Patient’s overall health
  • Body area being treated
  • Nature of injury: whether it is a recent injury caused due to a fall or an old injury developed over time

Risk and Complications of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

Platelet rich plasma therapy is usually safe. However, it may have certain risks and complications such as:

  • Pain at the injection site
  • Infection
  • Nerve injuries
  • Tissue damage

Post-procedural Care following PRP Therapy

Following the PRP therapy, you will experience the following:

  • It is normal to feel some discomfort at the injection site for a few days after your procedure.
  • You will be prescribed pain medications by your doctor.
  • You may use cold compresses to alleviate your symptoms.
  • You will be instructed to stop any anti-inflammatory medications.
  • You may resume your normal activities but should avoid any strenuous activities such as heavy lifting or exercises.
  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand
  •  American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • North Shore-LIJ Health System
  • Harvard University
  • Northwell Ortho Institute
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