For matters of the heart, time holds the cure. This idea is almost absolute for most cases. But for other injuries that involve tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints (musculoskeletal injuries), Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections may help in accelerating the healing process.
Plate Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment has been used by a number of professional athletes and has received significant attention from the media.
Blood contains Plasma, Red blood cells, White blood cells, and Platelets. Platelets are little discoid cells with a life expectancy of around 7-10 days.
These Platelets have a significant role in the wound healing process. They work together by aggregation and formation of a clot to stop further bleeding of an injured site.
Platelets are usually found in the circulating blood. But accumulating PRP and injecting the concentrate to an injured site may guarantee faster wound healing. The concentration level may differ depending on your blood platelet count, the technique of extraction and equipment used. And studies show that clinical advantage can be acquired if the PRP has a four times greater concentration than normal blood.
What are some procedures that involve PRP?
Doctors will inject PRP into the scalp to promote hair growth and prevent hair loss.
Tendons are tough and thick bands of tissues that connect muscles to bones. When torn, their healing process is slow. Doctors use PRP injections to heal chronic tendon problems like Achilles Tendonitis, Tennis Elbow, and Jumper’s Knee.
Acute injuries PRP helps in treating acute sports injuries like pulled hamstring muscles or knee sprains.
Sometimes, doctors make use of PRP injections for repairing a torn tendon like the Rotator Cuff Tendon in the shoulder. Osteoarthritis treatment
Doctors may inject PRP into the knees of those people with osteoarthritis.
Note that none of these procedures have been thoroughly demonstrated to give complete results.
How much does a PRP injection cost?
PRP injection costs around $500 to $1,200 per treatment. The prices may vary by geographic region, the complexity of the procedure, and the doctor’s experience.
How do you choose your doctor?
Only certified experts must perform PRP treatment. Wrong administration of this treatment can lead to irreversible effects. Heed these factors that allow you to choose your doctor wisely.
Certification and Memberships: It’s a plus when the doctor is a certified member of an American Orthopedic Association or any Orthopedic society in the region. This factor elevates the credibility of a doctor you are about to see.
Experience : The doctor must be well-aware of the risks and limitations of PRP treatment.
Reputation : One way to find a great doctor is by looking for a suggestion. If you know someone who underwent PRP treatment, you can ask them. Check the doctor’s record for any misbehavior. This data might be made open by state restorative sheets.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications should be avoided 7 days before and after the procedure. Typical examples of these are Ibuprofen, Naproxyn, Indomethacin, and Aspirin.
Non-steroidal medications work by blocking the growth factors present in PRP. These medications may render the injection useless.
For lower extremity shots, it’s recommended that patients should have someone have them home after the procedure. In some cases, the physician may need the patient to be on crutches for 1-2 days.
Assessment of the injury During your first appointment, the doctor will view your detailed clinical history. A thorough physical examination will follow. Basing on your situation, the doctor may need other tests like an ultrasound to confirm diagnosis and point out the particular site for injection.In most cases, your doctor will check to see if you have recently used any Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory medications (NSAID’s) like Voltaren, Nurofen, and Mobic. These can affect the platelet production of the bone marrow. Your cosmetic surgeon may advise you to stop taking them 10 days prior the procedure.
Blood Collection Through venipuncture, your blood is extracted with the same technique used when collecting a sample for blood tests. Standard blood collection site is a large vein (median cubital) in your arm. At least 20 mL of blood might be gathered.
Preparation With the use of a centrifuge, blood components will be separated. The procedure takes about 15 minutes. The Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) forms a white layer between the clear fluid and the red blood cells. A laboratory instrument is then used to separate the PRP from other blood components. Depending on your platelet count, up to 2-8 mL of PRP will be extracted from the centrifuged blood.
The Injection Procedure The PRP can be injected into the injury with or without the guidance of an ultrasound procedure.
By: Dr. Ben Talei
An ultrasound procedure uses sound waves that forms images to visually demonstrate the site of injury. It’s a similar technique used in monitoring and assessing the condition of your body. This method is also used in monitoring the progress of pregnancy.
What happens after the PRP treatment?
Every 2-3 hours, you’ll be instructed to apply a cold compress (ice pack) on the area for about 20 minutes during the first 24-48 hours after the procedure. Some patients may experience a ‘flare’ reaction or an intense pain beginning the day after the procedure.
To lessen pain and discomfort, doctors usually prescribe medications.
You’ll need to rest and refrain from doing rigorous activities for a couple of days or weeks after the treatment.
The pain typically subsides during the third to fourth week after treatment. It continues to improve over half a year. Recovery time relies on the extent of the injury, and your body responses towards wound healing.
What are the potential side effects of PRP treatment?
Though PRP uses your own blood sample for the procedure, possible reactions may still occur. However, the use of an ‘autologous’ sample lessens the dangers of unfavorable effects that can happen from infusing different synthetic and chemically-prepared pharmaceuticals.
Some risks may still occur from injecting your own PRP which includes:
Pain at the injection site
Discussing the potential risks with your doctor is necessary before undergoing the treatment.
Does PRP injection guarantee success of a surgical procedure?
Evidence from studies shows that the success of PRP treatment is purely circumstantial. Your ability to recover delicately depends on the outcome of the injected PRP treatment and your body responses towards healing.