Joint & Tendon PRP
Two of the biggest questions we get about PRP are “What is PRP? Can it help my joint and tendon pain?” Here’s a quick breakdown that explains both of those questions:
What is PRP?
PRP – platelet rich plasma – is a regenerative medicine technique that is derived from your own blood. Blood has 3 main components: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Platelets are composed of special proteins called growth factors that are responsible for forming blood clots and helping your body heal.
So PRP, then, is a high concentration of these platelets – with up to 5-10 times as many growth factors as a normal blood sample. To get this high concentration, we simply take a sample of your blood and put it in a special centrifuge to separate the platelets from the blood cells and plasma.
Once we have these separated, we use the PRP, a concentration of your own growth factors, and inject it into an area that is inflamed or in pain. Sports medicine physicians have been practicing this procedure for years on professional athletes to help them heal faster from their injuries.
What can PRP treat?
- Chronic tendon injuries
- Muscle, tendon, or ligament tears
- Acute injuries
- Joint pain or problems
- Pain or stiffness
Why PRP for joint and tendon pain?
- Is minimally invasive and requires no surgery
- Delays or eliminates the need for joint replacement surgeries
- Reduces inflammation, pain, and stiffness
- Encourages and accelerates healing of injured or poorly healed tissues
- Repairs and replaces unhealthy tissue to restore function and range of motion
How do I get started?
The easiest way to get started is to fill out a health history form. Our providers will look over your goals and health history before contacting you to get your initial bloodwork and complimentary 30-minute consultation scheduled.
** Prior to your consultation, please send us any copies of X-Rays, CTs (cat scans), MRIs, and any previous medical evaluations/reports regarding the intended treatment areas so we can review them before your consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
The most common places to inject PRP for joint and tendon pain are the hips, knees, feet, and shoulders, but it can also be used for chronic tendonitis in the ankle or elbow.
Typical treatments take about 20 minutes, however, the entire treatment session will take about an hour.
One treatment may be all that is needed for one joint or tendon, but another area may require a series of two or three treatments, spaced 4-12 weeks apart, to reach their desired potential. It is recommended to have maintenance treatments every year.
- Do NOT take anti-inflammatory medications for one week before treatment.
For a full post-treatment plan, please see the form “PRP take home instructions” in the box to the right. A quick run-down of post-care includes:
- You should ice the area for 20 minutes every 2-3 hours for the first 24-48 hours post-treatment.
- Do NOT take anti-inflammatory medications for two weeks after the treatment.
We highly recommend limiting activity related to the injection site for the day of and day after the treatment. Our provider will discuss a plan of action on when you can return to more activities (running, cycling, golf, etc.) once they have evaluated your injuries or pain. Most patients can expect to resume regular activity within 48-72 hours post-treatment.
The pain or injury should gradually subside as the PRP helps the tissue restore itself. We will reassess your response to the treatment in 4-8 weeks.
For more information, please see the “PRP take home instructions” form in the box to the right. Our providers will work with you to minimize discomfort and/or side effects.
- Temporary increased pain at the injection site
- No adverse effects from the injection itself, as we are using platelets from your own blood sample
Most patients are able to get PRP injections to help their joint and tendon pain. Our medical providers will examine your medical history and symptoms to determine if this is the optimal treatment for you.