Ultrasound-Guided Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections
TriHealth is a proud provider of regenerative medical therapy. Platelet Rich Plasma (or PRP), is a type of minimally invasive therapy that is used commonly for treatment of common musculoskeletal problems. These include chronic tendon injuries, osteoarthritis, and acute ligament and muscle injuries. PRP is used at the site of an injury to accelerate the healing of the injured or poorly healed tissues. PRP has been found to be successful at replacing unhealthy tissue and restoring function while allowing return to normal physical activities. Pain gradually subsides as the injured tissue restores itself. It may take 1-3 injections for full effect. This can take weeks or months, but when successful, the effect is lasting.
What Is PRP?
PRP is derived from your own blood by taking a sample of venous blood, placing it in a special tube, and spinning the blood in a centrifuge for 2 minutes. This separates whole blood into its components including red blood cells, platelets, and plasma (the non-cellular fluid from blood). The middle layer contains highly concentrated platelets, the cells that normally promote blood clotting. These cells also contain a number of specialized chemicals called growth factors. The basic idea behind PRP injection is to deliver high concentrations of growth factors to an area of injury, with hope of stimulating a healing response and reducing inflammation in the tissue.
Pre-Procedure Planning: What to expect during the procedure
You may use Acetaminophen (Tylenol) before or after the procedure. Please stop using anti-inflammatory medications (Motrin, Aleve, Ibuprofen, Advil) for 1 week before the procedure.
The Following steps will occur when you arrive:
- Check in at the front desk and sign your consent form
- Our staff will draw 30ml of blood from an arm vein and place it into the centrifuge to concentrate the PRP
- Under ultrasound guidance and with aseptic technique, the PRP will be injected into the affected joint/tendon and may result in procedural and post-procedural pain.
- You will then rest for 15 minutes in our office and then will be allowed to head home
- The entire procedure typically takes anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes
What to Do (and Not to Do) After the Procedure
You may ice the area for 20 minutes every 2-3 hours for the first 24-48 hours after the procedure. About 1 in 10 patients experience a “flare” reaction beginning the day after the procedure, manifested by intense pain. If this occurs, begin taking the prescribed medication. Do NOT take anti-inflammatory medications for two weeks as this counteracts what the PRP is trying to do. While some redness and swelling are common after the procedure, if any progressive swelling, redness, drainage, or fever occurs, please notify our office and/or go to the Emergency Room to be assessed for possible infection (an extremely rare complication that may warrant antibiotic treatment).
Activity Level and Follow-Up
For the day of the procedure and the day after, limit the activity related to the injection site to activities of daily living. After the procedure returning to higher level activities (such as running, cycling, golf, weight training, etc) will be directed by your physician. Most patients resume regular activity within 48-72 hours. It is expected that it will take up to 6-8 weeks to adequately assess your response to the therapy. Please make a follow up appointment with your physician at that time point to assess your progress.