Blood Samples

PLATELET-RICH PLASMA THERAPY

What is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelets are small cell fragments found in about 1% of our total blood composition. They facilitate the clotting process to prevent or stop bleeding, meanwhile delivering growth factors that begin to repair broken tissue.

Plasma is the largest component of our blood, roughly 55%, and is largely comprised of water along with antibodies and other essential proteins. It takes on a variety of crucial functions in the body, such as transporting cells and other elements, fighting off disease, and aiding platelets to clot blood.

 

Platelet-rich plasma is found using a centrifuge, where a vial of blood is spun at high speeds to separate it into layers. A thin middle layer, known as the buffy coat, is comprised of white blood cells and platelets. This is platelet-rich plasma.

What is PRP Therapy

PRP Therapy is one of many regenerative medicine practices that utilizes your body’s ability to heal itself as a means to amplify the natural clotting and healing properties of platelet-rich plasma. PRP Therapy is a great option for damage to the soft tissue that isn't healing properly. It’s also a useful treatment for joint pain and other ailments where healing is impaired.

What Happens During the Procedure

The procedure will begin with us drawing some blood. We typically aim for roughly 60 mL or 6 normal test tubes. We then place the tubes in what’s called a centrifuge. This device spins the tubes of blood for about 15 minutes as it separates into layers. Once the blood is separated, there is usually between 3-10mL of platelet-rich plasma.

 

We may use ultrasound technology to determine the location of the injection. Once located, an injection of PRP along with a local anesthetic will be administered. 

 

Note that this procedure does involve drawing blood. If you have a tendency to faint, please let us know beforehand.  

Resuming Normal Activities

Most patients encounter mild to moderate soreness after the procedure which may persist for up to a week. Use your pain and soreness as a guide when considering returning to your normal activities. If the activity you're engaging in causes you pain and increases the level of soreness, stop, and allow yourself some more time to recover.

 

We recommend that you wait 2 weeks before returning to sports following PRP Therapy. Doing so gives your tissue the best chance at fully healing. In the following two weeks, you can increase your activity level until you’re back to full participation.

 

Avoid using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Motrin, Naprosyn, Aleve, Advil, and aspirin for six weeks following PRP Therapy. The purpose of the injections is to cause inflammation, integral to full healing.

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LET'S WORK TOGETHER

At APEX Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, board-certified physician John H. Bissell, M.D., provides a wide variety of treatments for pain management that not only relieves your symptoms but improves the overall health of your afflicted area. If you're struggling to identify the cause and manage your pain, call us to set up an appointment.