Platelet Rich Plasma Injections (PRP) at Manhattan Wellness Group
Platelet Rich Plasma Injections (PRP)
One of the latest and most exciting advancements in regenerative medicine is platelet rich plasma injections, also known as PRP. This treatment is very exciting, as it uses the body’s own growth factors and stem cells to help with regenerating tissue rather than simply masking symptoms for pain relief.
The treatment has been used for years by other specialties outside of pain management such as cardiothoracic surgery and ophthalmology. Over the past few years, its applicability for musculoskeletal injury treatment has soared.
What Exactly is PRP?
PRP is defined as “is blood plasma that has been enriched with platelets.” Plasma represents slightly over half of the total blood volume. It is a clear, straw-colored liquid, over 90% water, and contains proteins, hormones, minerals, immunoglobulin, and clotting factors like platelets.
PRP involves using the patient’s own blood by simply taking it from an arm vein. This is just like a typical blood draw for lab work. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge machine which spins it around very fast and separates the plasma from the rest of the whole blood. The plasma is what contains the platelets along with a significant amount of growth factors that can help regenerate damaged tissue.
Along with the ability to facilitate tissue repair, these growth factors are crucial for calling in stem cells from a person’s body to help regenerate damaged tissue.
What Are the Indications for PRP?
The most common indications so far for platelet rich plasma treatment include tendinitis in the elbow such as lateral epicondylitis or medial epicondylitis. These are known as tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow. Initial studies have shown excellent pain relief from PRP injections into the painful areas.
Ligament injuries are benefitting as well from PRP such as the collateral ligaments of the knee. Tendons have a very poor blood supply and when damaged, are able to benefit from the growth factors and additional stem cells that are called in by the PRP injections.
Along with these soft tissue injury indications, PRP injections are also being used inside various joints such as the knee, the hip the ankle, and the shoulder itself for inflammatory osteoarthritis.
How is the Procedure Performed?
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy treatment is performed as an outpatient. Initially 30-60 cc’s of blood is obtained and placed in a centrifuge and spun into three layers in a process.
The top includes the plasma and platelets, while the bottom contains red blood cells as the heaviest component. The middle layer consists of a “buffy coat”, including white blood cells and some platelets. The top layer is separated and then spun again in the centrifuge. The result is a final product containing 3 to 6 cc’s of platelet rich plasma (usually the end result contains more than four times blood concentration).
Once the PRP solution is ready, the area of injection is prepared sterile and numbing medicine is used for comfort. The pain doctor typically uses fluoroscopy or ultrasound to ensure injection accuracy.
How Well Does PRP Work?
PRP introduces growth factors that can help tissue heal, as opposed to most pain treatments that simply mask pain as a proverbial “band aid.” Pain improvements are generally seen within a few weeks, and are often more gradual than steroid treatments since the tissue is slowly healing.
PRP injections are often combined with a physical therapy program, as the treatment can help facilitate new tissue growth as well.
Questions or Concerns?
- Is PRP covered by my insurance?
Yes, PRP is covered by your insurance and we’ll be happy to call your insurance and get necessary authorizations.
- How is PRP done?
While you are in the office, your blood is drawn and then placed in a centrifuge so that the plasma is separated from the blood. Then the plasma in injected back into the injured area of your body on the same visit.
- How often is PRP performed on the injured area?
The maximum number of times in a life for PRP in each injured area is four times. The injections are about two to three weeks a part.
- When do I feel the effects of PRP?
About one week after the injection.
- Is the procedure done by a medical doctor?
Yes, the procedure is done by our doctor, Dr. Farag.
- Can I return back to work immediately after?
Yes, absolutely, immediately.
- Is anesthesia needed?
Yes, but only topically.