PRP Therapy in NY & NJ
Platelet Rich Plasma or PRP therapy uses injections of a concentration of a patient’s own platelets to accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints. In this way, PRP injections use each individual patient’s own healing system to improve musculoskeletal problems.
PRP has been used with apparent success in many areas from stimulating hair growth to skin rejuvenation, but the most compelling data regarding its success is in the treatment of wounds and orthopedic injuries, as well as chronic pain. The treatment shows exciting potential with osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder, hip and spine, rotator cuff tears, chronic plantar fasciitis, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, pelvic pain and instability, back and neck injuries, tennis elbow, ankle sprains, tendonitis, and ligament sprains.
At NYC Surgical Associates, we will help you determine if this advanced, non-surgical treatment is right for you.
What are platelets and what is plasma?
Plasma is the liquid portion of whole blood. It is composed largely of water and proteins, and it provides a medium for red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to circulate through the body. Platelets, also called thrombocytes, are blood cells that cause blood clots and other necessary growth healing functions.
Platelet activation plays a key role in the body’s natural healing process.
PRP Therapy with NYC Surgical Associates
What can I expect the day of my procedure?
A technician will remove blood via an IV catheter and fill several small test tubes. These test tubes are then placed in a centrifuge, where the more solid components of blood such as the white and red blood cells will separate from plasma and other proteins. The yellowish plasma component that is separated by the centrifuge is then injected into the area to be treated by your provider, usually using ultrasound guidance, and typically only very mild pain is felt.
How does PRP work?
The plasma component of your blood that is injected into the injured area basically serves to focus the body’s healing process and “zero in” the normal healing potential of your body into that specific area as a result.
What are the risks of the procedure?
Risks are minimal, but infection, damage to structures around the area injected, and bleeding are risks worth discussing. In very rare cases treatment with PRP may result in a worsening of the pain but this is very unlikely.
What can I expect after the procedure?
Typically for the first 1-3 days, an increase in pain is noted. It is important that you do not take any anti-inflammatory drugs at this time as they result in a blunted effectiveness of the PRP treatment. Tylenol or another non anti-inflammatory pain medication is ideal. Usually around 3-4 days, the area starts to feel stiffer, almost as if it is contracting, and this is when you know the PRP is starting to work. At this time you can gradually ramp up your activity to pre treatment levels as tolerated. Maximum results are usually apparent from each treatment at 4-6 weeks.
Do I need more than one procedure?
In general, this is largely up to the patient for the most part, unless joint instability is part of the picture. The primary reason for PRP is to accelerate the healing of certain types of injuries and wounds, and your provider will help you determine if you are an appropriate candidate. In general, if the PRP treatment made (or continues to make) a positive impact on your injury, yet it has not yet reached a point at which you are satisfied, you may request additional treatment.
In some cases, adjunctive treatment such as exosomes or stem cells may be used with PRP for a synergistic more powerful effect on healing.
How often can I get PRP?
In general, its best to wait 5-6 weeks between procedures to allow the prior treatment to reach its peak effect.
Is PRP treatment effective?
Several basic science studies in animal models suggest that PRP treatment can improve healing in soft tissue and bone. For example, increased numbers of cells and improved tendon strength have been noted in Achilles tendon injuries and improved muscle regeneration has been shown in gastrocnemius (calf) muscle injuries.
These favorable findings in animal models have led to the widespread use of PRP treatment for a variety of conditions, including acute and chronic tendon problems, as well as injuries to ligaments and muscles. Some early-stage clinical studies in humans have been promising, but are limited by their study design and few patients.
The most promising early results have been seen when PRP treatment is used for chronic tendon conditions, such as tendonitis and tendinosis. Nonetheless, a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that there was no advantage to using PRP injection compared to saline (placebo) injection for the treatment of Achilles tendinosis.
In a small study involving knee osteoarthritis, PRP treatment was shown to be more effective than hyaluronic acid treatment. PRP has also resulted in positive or similar results when used in the treatment of rotator cuff tears and medial collateral ligament tears in the knee.
Overall, there is limited support of PRP treatment in published clinical studies. However, because PRP is created from a patient’s own blood, it is considered a relatively low-risk treatment with the potential to improve or speed healing.
More studies are needed to prove the effectiveness of PRP treatment and to research the best ways to standardize the treatment’s preparation.
Concerns Involving PRP treatment
Because PRP is given in the hopes of optimizing the initial inflammatory response of healing, any anti-inflammatory medications should likely be stopped at the time of PRP treatment.
Also, PRP does contain endogenous growth factors, so some agencies consider it to be a performance-enhancing substance. For instance, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the United States Anti-Doping Agency forbid the injection of PRP within muscles because of the possibility that the growth factors could enhance a person’s performance. However, there are currently no data to suggest that PRP is actually a performance-enhancing substance. Major professional sports leagues have not yet addressed the topic of PRP.
Overall, it is considered a very safe therapy.
Key Points to Remember
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) comes from a patient’s own blood.
- PRP is a concentrated source of growth factors and cellular signaling factors that play a significant role in the biology of healing.
- Basic science studies show that PRP treatment may improve healing in many tissues.
- Few clinical studies in humans show the effectiveness of PRP treatment.
- Anti-inflammatory medicines should be stopped before and after PRP treatment is given.
Cost of PRP Therapy in NYC and NJ
NYC Surgical Associates is committed to helping our patients receive the best care possible. That journey always begins with a medical consultation. Contact us today to learn more about what Platelet Rich Plasma can mean for you.