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Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy – PRP

PRP therapy offers a promising solution to accelerate healing of tendon injuries and osteoarthritis, naturally, without subjecting the patient to significant risk.  Whole blood is comprised of Red Blood Cells, WBC (White Blood Cells), Plasma, Proteins and Platelets. When in their resting state, platelets look like sea sponges and when activated, they form branches. Platelets were initially known to be responsible for blood clotting. In the last 20 years we have learned that when activated in the body, platelets release healing proteins called growth factors. There are many growth factors with varying responsibilities, however cumulatively they accelerate tissue and wound healing. PRP is a procedure in which whole blood is removed from you, the platelets are removed and concentrated and those same platelets along with some plasma are then delivered as a powerful cocktail of growth factors which can enhance tissue recovery.

Because PRP utilizes your own blood to heal, there is no concern for allergic reactions or other serious side effects.  At Ageless Medical NY we integrate the latest innovations such as hyperbaric oxygenand specific supplements for tendon and cartilage regeneration to compliment PRP therapy. With the incorporation of these adjuncts and our skilled technique utilizing ultrasound guidance when needed.

  • PRP Publications
  • PRP Spine

Conditions Commonly Responsive to PRP Therapy Include:
  • Shoulder:Rotator Cuff Tendinitis or Tear, Rotator Cuff Impingement Syndrome or Bursitis, Bicipital Tendinitis, labrum tears, arthritis, instability

  • Wrist/Hand:DeQuervaine’s Tenosynovitis, arthritis, other wrist or finger tendinitis, ligament tears or dysfunction of the fingers

  • Elbow: Medial and lateral epicondylitis (tennis & golfers elbow)

  • Knee:Patellar Tendinitis, Patellar Femoral Syndrome, chondromalacia patella, partially torn or strained major ligaments of knee (ACL/LCL/MCL), meniscus tears, arthritis, patellar instability

  • Ankle/Foot: Achilles Tendinitis, Peroneal Tendinitis, arthritis, recurrent ankle sprains, other foot or ankle tendinitis

Frequent Q + A

What does PRP stand for?
PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. Plasma.It is the liquid aspect of our blood which houses all the cellular components such as red and white blood cells, as well as platelets. In simple terms, platelets naturally make up only 10% of our blood’s cellular components. In PRP, the platelet ratio is flipped to 90% platelets. Therefore, PRP is plasma rich in platelets.

What is PRP therapy?
PRP is a progressive non-surgical healing treatment used in many fields, including sports medicine and orthopedics. In the field of non-surgical orthopedics, PRP is injected into the affected region to stimulate and enhance healing. PRP is your own blood modified in a way to produce mega doses of your body’s own healing “ingredients” that are stored in our platelets. The medical term for these ingredients is called Growth Factors.

What types of conditionsare amenable to PRP?
Based on current research, soft tissue injuries are the most responsive to PRP. This includes tendonitis, tendinosis, tendon tears, ligament sprains or tears, loose ligaments, and muscle tears. PRP has also been effective at treating cartilage degeneration such as arthritis as well as labrum tears in joints.

What are some common diagnoses treated with PRP?
  • SHOULDER: Rotator cuff tendinitis or tear, rotator cuff impingement syndrome or bursitis, bicipital tendinitis, labrum tear, arthritis, instability

  • ELBOW/WRIST/HAND: Tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, DeQuervaine’s Tenosynovitis, trigger finger, arthritis, other wrist or finger tendonitis

  • KNEE: Patellar tendinitis, partially torn or strained major ligaments of knee (ACL/LCL/MCL), meniscus tears, chondromalacia, arthritis, instability

  • ANKLE: Achilles tendinitis, peroneal tendinitis, ankle sprain, instability,other foot or ankle tendinitis

How is PRP treatment administered?
First, approximately one hour prior to patient’s scheduled PRP therapy, the patient’s blood is collected and then spun in a centrifuge specifically designed to concentrate platelets for PRP purposes. Second, topical and injected local anesthetic is provided to the affected region. Third, the needle is until the problem target site is reached.

Is PRP curative or just a band-aide?
Unlike Cortisone shots, PRP actually heals the injured region.

How does PRP work to heal?
Growth Factors are released from large quantities of activated platelets at the site of injury. This leads to an induced inflammatory reaction that initiates a powerful effective healing cascade. Growth factors stimulate blood flow, promote matrix formation which is the “groundwork” of all soft tissue, restore tendon and ligamentous proteins that may have been previously compromised, and “toughen up” cartilage to become more firm and resilient.

Is PRP painful?
Patients typically tolerate the procedure well although post-injection soreness is expected given the PRP-induced inflammatory response.

How many treatments do you need?
One to three treatments or more may be required depending on the degree of injury and how long the injury has been there. In some instances, a fourth treatment is provided.

How far apart are treatments spaced?
Typically 4-6 weeks if indicated.

What can you expect after getting PRP?
For the first 48 hours, swelling and discomfort are typical in the injected area. Therefore, all patients are provided with pain medicine after PRP and can ice as needed after the injection. By day 5, these symptoms will begin to substantially resolve. At this point, physical therapy is started to optimize PRP affects. Follow-up with the physician will be one month later to evaluate improvement using ultrasound as well as symptom evolution.

Are there any side effects or complications of PRP?
When PRP is performed without image guidance, there is risk of nerve or vessel injury. There is always, as with any procedure, a risk of bleeding and infection.  Also, prolonged increased pain and stiffness have been reported after PRP although these should resolve with time.

Are there any exclusion criteria that inhibit someone from getting PRP?
Severe anemia, low platelet count, abnormal platelet function, active systemic infection or active cancers are all contra-indications.

Is PRP covered?
No, PRP is considered experimental by insurance companies at this time.

How long has PRP been around for?
In the field of sports medicine for approximately 10 years.

How long does it take the PRP to “work”? :
Most patients notice some element of improvement by 2-6 weeks after PRP. Symptom improvement is slow and subtle as days and weeks pass, with usual report of original pain being replaced with more of asoreness. “Good days” become more and “bad days” become less as time passes, with pain intensity dropping along the way. Increased endurance and strength are typically reported. Clinical trials are reporting ongoing improvement up to 6-9 months after PRP in some cases.