Platelets and accompanying stem cells are responsible for repair, whether in healing an injury or recovering from surgery. Platelets are found circulating in the blood in relatively small numbers. By concentrating the platelets drawn from your own blood supply, we are able to harness the power of platelets to relieve pain and stop inflammation for orthopedic disorders and injuries.
Platelet rich plasma injections are replacing traditional orthopedic surgery in many instances for conditions ranging from soft tissue injuries (tendonitis, muscle tears, ligamentous injuries) to various joint afflictions, such as a torn meniscus or mild to moderate arthritis of the joint.
PRP therapeutic treatment at the National Institute of Regenerative Medicine typically requires two PRP injections into the injured tissue. Each procedure takes approximately 35 minutes to complete. The injections will likely be four to six weeks apart. Occasionally, a third PRP injection is needed.
There are some unique aspects of a PRP treatment performed by the NIRM. We are one of the few facilities in the world that uses an enhanced PRP with growth factors that are injected along with the PRP. We call this a Rx PRP. These additional growth factors dramatically increase the chances of success. Furthermore we will enhance the PRP by the process of photo-modulation.
The methods used to inject the PRP depend on the area being treated. For certain joints, such as the hip, we utilize fluoroscopy, which is a “live x-ray.” In other instances, we utilize ultrasound guidance or simply give the injection into a joint.
The aftercare for most PRP injections is relatively simple. Patients will resume activity at their own pace. The pain from the process typically will last a few days, occasionally longer, and some patients have more severe or sporadic pain than others. Because your own blood is used, there is no risk of a transmittable infection and a very low risk of allergic reaction to the treatment.
After the PRP injections a variety of techniques to help maximize stem cell output from the bone marrow are utilized including the use of supplements, as well as the avoidance of smoking and alcohol intake, which diminish stem cell output. Additionally, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) will be restricted for just a couple of days.
We do not employ any clotting agents, such as thrombin, with our PRP. It is not necessary and could actually be detrimental since using a clotting agent releases the growth factors all at once rather than through a prolonged release.
We strongly encourage you learn more about the science of PRP therapy. If you are considering having a PRP procedure done, you owe it to yourself to have a better understanding of the methods being used and the questions you should be asking.