PRP Joint Injections


4/24/20243 min read

person holding white cigarette stick
person holding white cigarette stick

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is an innovative treatment that can improve range of motion and reduce pain in people who deal with arthritis and sports injuries such as tennis elbow or shoulder injuries to name a few. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections use components of the body’s own blood to stimulate healing. Platelets are able to assist in mending and strengthening damaged tissue by increasing specific growth factors.

How Does PRP Work for arthritis?

Our blood is made of red blood cells (90%), white blood cells (6%), and platelets (1%) and plasma. PRP is created in a laboratory where blood plasma is enriched with high concentrations of platelets that contain concentrations of growth factors that can be up to 500% richer than normal. During the normal healing process, the body uses platelets to promote new tissue growth and repair injuries. By supplementing platelet content, the healing process is accelerated.

There are several benefits to PRP therapy. They include the fact that the platelet rich plasma (PRP) being injected is autologous (comes from your own body), so there is no risk of cross-reactivity, immune reaction, or disease transmission. It is also minimally invasive (unlike surgery), and facilitates healing (unlike corticosteroids).

By injecting platelet rich plasma into the arthritic or injured area, your body receives a higher concentration of blood platelets than your blood typically offers. These platelets promote the regeneration of tissue to trigger the natural healing process. PRP therapy can speed up the repair of tendons, muscles, cartilage, ligaments, and bone due to injury or disease. This treatment can also:

  • Decrease pain

  • Reduce inflammation

  • Slow down the progression of arthritis

  • Increase lubricating fluid in the joint

The human body has the natural ability to heal itself and PRP therapy simply aids our bodies natural healing process. Unlike cortisone injections, PRP therapy can offer a patient long term healing rather than temporary relief.

What to expect during a PRP treatment session:
  1. Consultation: Before your treatment, you’ll have a consultation with a qualified medical practitioner. They will ask you about your medical history, previous treatments taken and your expectations. Be clear about your reasons for seeking PRP injections and discuss any concerns or questions you may have. Your photographs may also be taken as a part of your medical notes.

  2. Blood sample collection and processing: A sample of blood is taken from one of your veins and is put through a centrifuge machine to separate out platelets and growth factors.

  3. Injection Process: Treatment area will be cleaned, and the PRP solution will be injected into the affected joint or tendon sheath.

  4. Duration: The total procedure typically takes about 20 minutes.

  5. Immediate Effects: The injections cause a temporary mild stinging sensation lasting a second or two. Otherwise you may or may notice an immediate change, other than tiny needle marks and redness.

  6. Aftercare: Avoid massaging, scratching or rubbing the treated area. Steer clear of applying heat vigorous exercise, sunbathing, and saunas for at least 2 days.

  7. Results: It takes some time for the PRP to start rejuvenation process and your body to respond. As your joint cartilage rebuilds and inflammatory cells are calmed down, it might take 2 to 3 months to see the full effect. The effects continues to build overtime till your body's natural wear and tear process takes over over an year or so. In case you need a top up injection, wait at least 3 months between sessions. With subsequent injections as your collagen builds, the duration between treatments also increases.

Possible Side Effects:
  • You may experience localised pain and swelling after the injection, which usually subsides within 24-48 hours.

  • Since skin surface is breeched there may be a small chance of introducing an infection (as with any other injection), but with your provider following an aseptic technique, this risk is minimal.

In summary, PRP treatments offer a natural way to improve joint function and promote cartilage regeneration at a cellular level. As this innovative approach gains popularity, it’s worth considering for those seeking more natural solutions instead of steroid injection. It is also worth noting that the effectiveness of PRP treatments can vary from person to person. While many individuals experience positive results, others may not see significant improvements. It is important to have realistic expectations and consult with a qualified healthcare professional to determine if polynucleotide treatments are suitable for your specific needs.

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