Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a method of concentrating platelets from the patient’s own blood. This concentrate contains healing cells such as growth factors, stem cell signaling markers, and white blood cells. PRP therapy accelerates the healing process, reduces pain, promotes increased tissue strength and improves overall function.
What is PRP?
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is blood plasma with concentrated platelets (the body’s repairmen for damaged tissue). The concentrated platelets found in PRP contain growth factors that are vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. The bioactive proteins initiate connective tissue healing and repair, promote development of new blood vessels and stimulate the healing process.
How does PRP therapy work?
In PRP therapy, blood is taken from the patient and then placed in a machine that spins at a high speed to separate the different types of blood cells. The surgeon extracts the platelet-rich part of the blood, mixes it with local anesthetic, and injects this mixture into the area of the injury. The entire process to prepare the blood takes about one hour and increases the concentration of platelets and growth factors at the site of the injury up to 500% (patients then have five times the amount of platelets/growth factors). By giving patients a PRP injection, Deuk Spine Institute aims to stimulate the body’s ability to heal chronic conditions.
What conditions is PRP therapy used to treat?
- Cervical facet pain
- Thoracic facet pain
- Lumbar facet pain
- Sacroiliac joint pain
- Muscle sprains and strains
- Plantar fascitis
- Sports injuries
- Trigger points
PRP therapy is used to treat a variety of conditions. A physician can determine if PRP therapy is a viable treatment for other conditions that may not be listed above.
What are the potential benefits of PRP therapy?
The main benefit is that patients can see significant improvements in symptoms. This treatment may eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments such as long-term medication or surgery. It can also bring about a remarkable return of function with a much shorter recovery time than traditional treatment methods.
A major advantage of treatment is that no foreign substance is used- Deuk Spine Institute uses the patient’s own growth factors from his or her blood, so there is no risk of disease transmission.
What are the alternatives to PRP therapy?
Alternatives to PRP therapy include:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Steroid injections
Deuk Spine Institute prefers PRP therapy over other alternatives. Surgery is an invasive procedure with a longer recovery time. Anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections both introduce outside drugs to the body. Physiotherapy is often more effective when used in conjunction with PRP therapy.
What happens during PRP therapy?
The entire process of drawing blood to solution preparation takes approximately 25-30 minutes. A small amount of blood is drawn from the patient, just like a routine blood test. Once the blood is drawn it is then placed into a centrifuge. The centrifuge is a machine that spins the blood at high speeds in order to separate the blood into red blood cells and concentrated platelets. Once the blood is separated the red blood cells are discarded, and what remains is concentrated platelet rich plasma (PRP), which is ready to be used in the treatment process.
The injection process does not take more than an hour, which includes the creation of the PRP. The injections are performed under image guidance to assure precise placement of PRP. The guidance used is typically by ultrasound, although sometimes fluoroscopic guidance is used.
Is PRP therapy painful?
Generally speaking, PRP injections are not painful. However, the discomfort level depends on the part of the body being treated. Injections in to the joint are of minimal discomfort. Patients sometimes experience a small amount of pain after the procedure. This pain does not last more than a few days and can be minimized with over-the-counter Tylenol. It is critical to avoid anti-inflammatory medications such as Aleve, Motrin, Celebrex, Naprosyn and Mobic.
When can patients expect to feel the results of PRP therapy?
The benefit to PRP therapy is that unlike other treatments it has a sustained outcome that is categorized as a permanent fix. The timeframe for experiencing results is dependent upon the area and extent of the injury. On average, most patients start to see signs of improvement in the form of reduced pain or increased function within four to six weeks.
Am I a candidate for PRP therapy?
PRP injections are used on a variety of patients regardless of age or activity level. At Deuk Spine Institute, we use PRP therapy to treat patients in various phases of their life who are suffering from joint pain.
- Athletes of all ages
- People living with chronic joint pain
- People with active lifestyles
- Workers injured on the job
Are you or a loved one experiencing pain? Deuk Spine Institute is always accepting new patient inquiries. To learn more about PRP therapy, contact us or give us a call at 1-800-FIX-MY-BACK.