Platelet Rich Plasma Injections
Platelet rich plasma therapy is a revolutionary new treatment that is simple, safe, and can be done in the office setting. It is a natural treatment because it utilizes the patient's own blood that is drawn from a vein. (similar to a blood test)
What is platelet rich plasma?
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a general term for a type of plasma from whole blood that contains an increased concentration of platelets. The red blood cells and the white blood cells are separated in varying degrees.
Autologous conditioned plasma (ACP) is distinguished from other platelet rich plasma by it's low concentration of white blood cells that are needed by the body to fight infection. These white blood cells can be detrimental to the healing process when present in high concentrations.
How is the platelet rich plasma prepared?
Platelet rich plasma is extracted from a small quantity of blood drawn from the patients vein. The second step involves a centrifuge that spins at low speeds to protect the platelets. The plasma has 2-4 times the concentration of platelets. The centrifuge that I utilize is able to separate out most of the detrimental white blood cells and red blood cells to form a autologous conditioned plasma that is platelet rich. These injections promote healing of neck pain, thoracic pain, back pain and low back pain.
What conditions are treated?
Platelet rich plasma with low white blood cells is used to promote healing in injuries of cartilage,ligaments, muscle, and tendons. When the tissue heals, pain is reduced. In laboratory tests a significant increase in cell proliferation has been documented in cartilage, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bone.
Numerous clinical studies have clearly shown the effectiveness of platelet rich plasma in treatment of the following:
- Osteoarthritis of the shoulder
- Hip, knee, wrist, ankle and foot
- Rotator cuff injury
- Shoulder impingement syndrome
- Tendinitis of the biceps tendon
- Achilles tendinitis
- Patellar tendinitis
- Elbow tendinitis
These injections can also promote healing in:
- Neck pain
- Thoracic pain
- Low back pain
How does platelet rich plasma work?
The healing process is a complex series of natural processes within the body. Multiple growth factors play a key role in this respect as they initiate and regulate the repair of the damaged tissue. These growth factors are released from the high concentration of platelets that are injected into the damaged tissue. Each growth factor released has a specific role in the cellular process that promotes healing and tissue growth. They initiate proliferation of bone, ligaments, tendons, muscle, and cartilage cells and promote matrix formation to create a stronger cartlidge, tendon, bone, and ligament.
The white blood cells if injected in high concentrations into damaged tissue can actually do more damage by releasing chemicals such as free radicals and detrimental enzymes.
The system that we use limits the white blood cell concentration and allows the platelets to do their job. This is the autologous platelet concentrate.
What are the outcomes of these treatments?
In multiple recent studies platelet rich plasma with low white blood cells significantly outperformed Synvisc (Hyaluronic Acid) at six and 12 months after the injections. These injections were done at weekly intervals 2 to 3 times. There are extensive studies in other joints that show these injections are extremely helpful as compared to other modalities.
How often do I need treatments?
Platelet rich plasma injections are generally done 1 to 2 weeks apart for the first two injections. A third injection may be necessary 4 to 6 weeks later depending on your results with the first one or two injections.
What is the cost of the injections?
Unfortunately most insurance companies do not pay for platelet rich plasma injections. The cost of injections is approximately $500-$700 for each injection.
For more information about Treatments, or to schedule an appointment, please call 484.468.1480.