Platelet Rich Plasma is defined as platelets concentrated at a greater than physiologic level suspended in a plasma medium. In addition to decreasing pain and inflammation around tendons and inside arthritic joints, it can also be injected into the actual tendon, ligament, muscle or affected soft tissue to promote healing.
Whenever there is an injury in the body, a healing cascade begins.
This cascade has 3 phases:
During the initial inflammatory stage, for instance if you cut your finger, platelets migrate to the area and form a fibrin clot. This clot achieves hemostasis and the bleeding stops. As the platelets clot they degranulate and release biochemicals into the bloodstream. These biochemicals signal for growth and healing factors to come to the area and trigger healing. As a result, there is a reduction of inflammation and increased wound healing.
Using these principles, PRP optimizes healing of new injuries and kick-starts the healing cascade on chronic injuries that have not properly healed.
Dr. Panero draws blood from your vein into a PRP syringe. The syringe is then placed in a centrifuge machine that separates the red blood cells, white blood cells, and plasma. It also concentrates the platelets. This process takes approximately 5 minutes and it is done in-office.
Once the centrifugation is done, the concentrated platelets and plasma are manually extracted from the blood into the injection syringe. By precisely injecting the PRP into the injured area using ultrasound guidance, we kick-start the healing cascade where it’s needed most. Although one injection can be very helpful, studies support the use a series of 3 injections given one week apart.
Depending on the area injected, the doctor may administer a regional anesthesia to decrease the pain from the injection itself.
You go home the same day of your procedure. Depending on the area injected, you may have to wear a brace and/or use crutches for a short time. The injection area will be sore for about 1-2 weeks. Your post-procedure regimen will likely include physical therapy. The staff will typically follow up with you within 4-6 weeks of the procedure and then at the 3-month mark.
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