Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy, or PRP therapy, was originally used by dentists to help with soft tissue recovery after plastic surgery. However, in recent decades, this therapy has been used widely in sports medicine to treat injuries like tendonitis. As the amazing results poured in about the way PRP therapy can help get rid of pain and treat injuries, doctors have started to use this therapy to help other patients as well.
Briefly, PRP therapy is a treatment in which a patient’s own blood I used to heal and regenerate damaged tissue. The cells in PRP are responsible for blood clotting, and it is believed that the unique characteristics that cause clotting also help heal tissue.
Step One: Drawing Blood
When you first begin the process for PRP therapy, you’ll need to have around 30 milliliters of blood drawn, which is then placed in a centrifuge so that the plasma, rich with platelets, is separated from other components of blood. You can have more drawn and frozen for later treatments if you prefer, but most patients have blood drawn and separated on each occasion. The blood will be reviewed under a microscope to be sure it has fully separated after the centrifuge is finished.
Step Two: Injections
After the plasma has been separated from whole blood, it is ready to be injected into the site of the injury or pain. These injections require a lot of precision, and often technology like ultrasound is used to ensure that the injection goes exactly where it needs to be. The patient will be given anesthetics to make them relaxed and comfortable during the procedure. At Texas Cell Institute, we activate an inflammatory response in the tissue surrounding the injection site, to begin the healing process before we even begin. Then the injection is performed. Most patients do not feel more than mild discomfort during this time.
All in all, the entire procedure from drawing blood to finishing the injection doesn’t take long. In many, or even most cases, it takes under half an hour.
Step Three: What Happens Next?
Directly after a PRP treatment, most patients will experience a day or two of increased pain, during which they can use pain relievers. Each day will result in less pain, and by day six, patients report a noticeable improvement in the pain they were originally feeling. They’ll also see that the area gains more mobility, more flexibility, more strength, and more endurance. Most patients will continue to report great improvement for six to nine months after a treatment, and ultra sounds show that the tissue repair after this time is significant.
The reason that PRP therapy doesn’t result in an immediate pain relief the way steroids do is because PRP therapy isn’t attacking the pain; instead, this therapy works to cure the cause of the pain. In some cases, where patients had severe injuries or tissue damage, more than one injection may be required to complete the healing process.
Risks with PRP Therapy
This is one of the safest ways to treat many of the common sports injuries without invasive medical procedures like surgery. Because the treatment comes directly from the patient’s own body, there is no worry about a rejected treatment, and the risk of infection is much lower. At Texas Cell Institute, we rely on totally sterile surgical suites to minimize infection risks, and we also use direct image guidance to ensure that the treatment is placed right where it needs to be.
This process also helps to nearly eliminate one of the larger risks associated with PRP therapy, which is blood clots and damage to surrounding nerves due to a misplaced needle. With the use of technology to show our doctors exactly where they are injecting, this risk is greatly reduced.
Ready to Give PRP Treatment a Try?
If you’ve suffered from chronic pain conditions, or you play sports and are frequently injured, you already know that the majority of treatments out there can’t promise long-lasting results. You’ll treat or mask the pain, but the damage to your body is still being done. With PRP therapy, you can actually reverse the damage that your body has experienced, turning back the clock to give your body a healthy new start.
If you’re ready to consult with our team on PRP therapy options for you, give us a call at our Frisco office at 972-377-2667. All of our procedures are performed by accredited surgical doctors, and we’re ready to help you move beyond pain for good.