PRP Therapy (Platelet Rich Plasma)

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy is a minimally invasive non-surgical treatment that relieves pain by promoting long lasting healing of musculoskeletal conditions.

The body’s natural reaction to an injury is to send platelets from the blood to damaged tissues to initiate healing.  Platelets store a vast array of growth factors which are released at the site of injury through cell signals received from the injured tissue to mediate healing.

Platelet Rich Plasma is injected directly into the injured tissue, stimulating the same healing response in a much more potent form.  The autologous PRP treatment, therefore, uses your own concentrated platelets and growth factors to stimulate and enhance the body’s own healing response to treat acute injury, inflammation or chronic degenerative disease.

THE COMPOSITION OF BLOOD

PLASMA

Constitutes between 52 and 62 percent of whole blood, it is a straw-coloured fluid in which blood cells, proteins and other substances are suspended and transported.

WHITE BLOOD CELLS

LEUCOCYTES – constitute less than 1 percent of whole blood.  These attacks and destroy potentially harmful foreign matter.

PLATELETS

THROMBOCYTES – constitute less than 1 percent of whole blood.  These form clots, blocking blood from exiting wounds.

RED BLOOD CELLS

ERYTHROCYTES – constitute between 38 and 48 percent of whole blood.  These cells keep tissue alive by bringing oxygen to it and taking carbon dioxide away.

By enhancing the body’s natural healing capacity, this treatment has been shown to lead to a more rapid, more efficient and more thorough restoration of the tissues to a healthy state.  Since PRP is prepared from your own blood, it causes little to no concern for rejection, infection or disease transmission.

 

Applications

There are many applications where PRP Therapy can be very effective.  The following are the most common:

KNEE                                                        

  • Ligament sprains and tears (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL)
  • Patellar tendonitis and tendinosis
  • Bursitis

ELBOW, HAND AND WRIST

  • Epicondylitis (Tennis and Golfer’s elbow)
  • Ligament sprains and tears
  • Tendonitis and tendinosis

SHOULDER

  • Ligament sprains and tea
  • Tendonitis and tendinosis
  • Acromioclavicular joint dysfunction and pain

SPINE

  • Ligaments sprains and tears
  • Tendonitis and tendinosis
  • Spinal stenosis

FOOT AND ANKLE

  • Ligament sprains and tears
  • Achilles tendonitis and tendinosis
  • Plantar fasciitis

HIP

  • Ligament and muscle sprains/tears
  • Tendonitis and tendinosis
  • Trochanteric bursitis

 

Reimbursement and Insurance

Will my insurance cover this procedure?

While PRP has been used for decades, often in professional athletes who are looking to avoid surgery or prolonged recovery periods, its application in the treatment of pain is relatively new.  Because of this, insurance companies often do not cover PRP therapy. Please check your policy.

How much does it cost?

The cost of PRP treatment varies depending on the procedure performed.  Our office staff can assist you with payment options and any other questions you may have.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)?

PRP is a concentration of platelets, growth factors and cellular signalling factors that play a significant role in the biology of healing. The therapeutic PRP dose delivers over 1 billion platelets per ml of treatment; this represents a 4-6-fold increase in platelet concentration compared to whole blood.

How is it performed?

After a blood sample is obtained from a patient, the blood is put into a centrifuge which separates the blood into its many components.  Platelet Rich Plasma can then be collected and delivered to an injured tissue, such as a tendon or ligament, via an injection.  Ultrasound guidance can assist in the precise placement of PRP in a process that takes a total of 20-30 minutes.  There may be soreness at the site of the injection that can last for a few days.  Most people return to work and normal day-to-day activities immediately after the injection.

Is it safe?

This results in minimal discomfort.  Since PRP is prepared from your own blood, there is no risk of rejection or disease transmission and virtually no risk of infection.

How well does it work

There have been numerous clinical studies that show significant healing and long-lasting reduction in pain for a variety of injuries.  Common injuries include tendon and ligament damage and other sports injuries. Results are proving PRP to be an effective and natural alternative to steroid injections which temporarily help alleviate pain symptoms but do not heal the cause of your pain.

Are all PRP concentrating devices, and PRP treatments, created equally?

No.  A number of PRP concentrating devices are available commercially, each with varying cost, process and performance. 

How often should I repeat this procedure?

We recommend a series of 3 injections over a 3-4-week period.

What are the expected results?

Both ultrasound and MRI images have shown definitive tissue repair after PRP therapy, confirming the healing process.  The need for surgery can also be greatly reduced by treating injured tissue before the damage progresses and the condition is irreversible.  PRP therapy does not provide immediate relief; instead, it sets in motion a repair mechanism that takes 2-3 weeks before pain relief is felt.  A study in the American Journal of Sports Medicine showed the following results in patients with elbow tendinosis:

  • 46% pain relief by week 4
  • 60% pain relief by week 8
  • 81% pain relief by 6 months

At the conclusion of the study, 93% of patients were completely satisfied with their PRP treatment and had avoided surgery.

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about PRP or any other Regenerative Medicine treatment, please use the contact form below to contact our specialists.

 

Contact us to find out more