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Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections

What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?

PRP is a biologic treatment that is derived from your own blood. It contains a variety of bioactive cells, growth factors, cytokines, and proteins that can help stimulate healing and also provide anti-inflammatory relief. It can be used to heal soft tissue injuries including tendons, ligaments and muscles. It can also be used for joint injuries including labrum and meniscus tears. PRP is also often used for arthritic joints and can provide a protective, safe and long-term anti-inflammatory effect.

How do I prepare for a PRP injection?

Discontinue any anti-inflammatory medications or supplements five days prior to your procedure. Drink plenty of fluids the night and morning before the injection to allow for an adequate blood draw.

What can I expect on the day of the procedure?

Expect to be in clinic for around one and a half hours. Paperwork will need to be completed prior to your injection. A blood draw from your arm will be performed and this blood will be processed immediately afterwards. The PRP will be administered via injection to the affected area using ultrasound guidance in the clinic. Depending on your injury, a brace may be administered followed by any prescriptions including physical therapy. A follow-up appointment will be made at this time as well.

What can I expect after my procedure?

PRP stimulates a healing response and the first phase of healing involves inflammation. As a result, PRP may initially cause inflammation and discomfort that can potentially last for up to one week. Anti-inflammatory medications are discouraged for up to two weeks after the procedure to allow for an adequate natural inflammatory response. Ice, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and pain medications can be used if necessary. Excessive high exertion activity involving the injured body part is discouraged during the first week. Physical therapy is recommended to begin one week after the injection.

How long does it take to see any results?

PRP injections may begin relieving pain as early as three weeks after the injection but typically it may take up to six to eight weeks before there is a noticeable effect. Depending on your injury, a complete healing effect may take up to several months after the procedure.

Will I need repeat injections?

This depends on your injury. There is more evidence in the medical literature that emphasizing a series of three PRP injections one week apart for the treatment of joint pain such as arthritis. As an alternative, one injection can be performed followed by reassessment eight weeks later to see if additional injections are needed. Soft tissue injuries often times only need one injection in conjunction with a comprehensive physical therapy program but if the healing effects plateau, then a repeat injection may be recommended.

Is PRP covered by my insurance?

Since the majority of medical insurance policies do not reimburse for PRP, this is not billed to your insurance and a cash payment will be necessary prior to your procedure. Billing documents can be provided along with the 0232T billing code for PRP for flexible spending accounts or for independent inquiries for reimbursement.

Useful Links

  • the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Mid America Orthopaedic Association
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
  • A Nation in Motion

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