Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injection in Nashville, TN
Expert Spine Care specializes in Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection (PRP), a blood therapy that uses your own blood components to stimulate a natural healing response in damaged or injured tissues Platelet rich plasma injections refers to a sample of serum (blood) plasma that has as much as four times the normal amount of platelets. This treatment enhances the body’s natural ability to heal itself and is used to improve healing and shorten recovery time for acute and chronic soft tissue injuries.
The main purpose of platelet-rich plasma injection is to foster healing where it has not otherwise occurred or to speed up healing as in the case of acute injury. Platelets release bioactive proteins that enhance tissue regeneration and healing. For example, studies show that after using platelet rich plasma injections for tendon problems, new tendon cells start to develop in the area treated.
PRP: The Procedure
Most PRP injections can be done on an outpatient basis, usually in the office setting. This non-surgical therapy is done in our office under ultrasound guidance. PRP procedure takes approximately 45 minutes in total.
First, blood is drawn from your arm and used to create the injected fluid. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins the blood fast enough to separate it into layers based on weight with heavier parts staying on the bottom. Once your blood is drawn, the sample is prepared right away. The damaged area is injected with a numbing agent, followed by the injection of PRP.
Conditions treated by PRP
PRP can be injected into the various joints of the body and treat a multitude of injuries associated with tendons, ligaments, and the joint as a whole. These injuries include:
- Shoulder, neck or back pain
- Wrist or elbow pain
- Knee, ankle or foot pain
- Osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, shoulder, etc.
- Meniscal tears of the knee (ACL or MCL)
- Labral tears of the shoulder
- Rotator cuff tears
- Tendinitis of the shoulder, ankle, foot, etc.
- Planar fasciitis
- Cartilage injuries
PRP Therapy FAQ
PRP is obtained intravenously. Blood is drawn from the patient and spun in a centrifuge to separate cellular and liquid components. PRP consists of the straw-colored fluid remaining at the top of the mixture and the buffy coat, composed of white blood cells and platelets, below it. The process of obtaining PRP from a patient is a relatively quick procedure, taking approximately 30 minutes to complete.
PRP is used when more conservative or traditional treatments for pain or injury are unsuccessful or if a patient desires further improvement. PRP is less invasive than other surgical alternatives and can be completed within the same visit to the office. Long-term improvement prevents the need to continue with other more chronic forms of therapy that often do not accelerate the healing process.
Those who may not eligible for PRP include patients who are dependent on NSAIDs or cortisone, have an active cancer or infection, smoke, have low blood pressure, have bleeding/clotting/platelet disorders, or who suffer from illnesses such as cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s disease.
Multiple treatments to the area may be necessary, depending on your body’s response to the therapy. Patients may see improvement with as little as one injection to as many as five.
Patients typically see major improvements as early as two months following the procedure. You should not expect immediate results since PRP taps into the body’s gradual healing response.
Patients can resume their normal activity immediately following the procedure. There may be pain or soreness localized to the area of injection as well as where PRP was obtained
Patients undergoing the procedure should stop using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) about one week prior to their office visit. This is because NSAIDs interfere with the inflammatory response, which is essential to the healing process induced by PRP. Inflammation brings blood to the area of interest, supplying it with essential nutrients and proteins. Additionally, patients should abstain from taking NSAIDs for two weeks following the procedure to allow for maximal healing of the area.
PRP is a procedure unrecognized by most insurances and is not covered in most cases. You will need to consult your individual insurance provider in order to determine whether or not the procedure will be covered.