WHAT IS PRP?
Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP is used to treat muscle bone and joint pain. Whether it's your hips, knees, hand/wrist, elbow, shoulder, foot/ankle or spine, PRP could be an option for you.
Platelets are pieces from cells called megakaryocytes which are produced in the bone marrow. Blood consists primarily of plasma (liquid), red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Platelets are best known for their importance in clotting blood, but they are also what triggers healing when an injury occurs. Platelets contains hundreds of different growth factors and cytokines essential to healing.
PRP can facilitate healing and decrease inflammation of tissue when the PRP mixture is introduced into the right location under precise guidance. Different locations and conditions in the body require different concentrations of platelets and leukocytes (white blood cells).
To make PRP, blood is drawn from the patient and mixed with a small amount of anticoagulant (so the blood does not clot). The blood is then placed in a centrifuge that separates the red blood cells, and the remaining platelets and plasma are then concentrated. The red blood cells are discarded. Depending on the location and condition, we will vary the concentration of platelets and leukocytes. This process, along with the injections, usually takes 30-40 minutes.
At the CAPRI clinic, we have done extensive research on the optimal PRP preparations for different conditions. We have a lab with a hematology analyzer so that we can measure the concentrations of the different components of our PRP.
A thorough assessment is perhaps the most important factor in PRP success so we can ensure we are treating the right area. Very often we will find that multiple areas need to be treated. Using the right concentration of PRP is also important, as this can vary for different areas and conditions. We also believe that image guidance by a skilled physician is important, in particular with tendon, ligaments and spine injections
PRP APPOINTMENT OVERVIEW
CONSULTATION: At an assessment appointment the doctor will review your medical information and perform an orthopedic exam on the areas you would like considered for treatment. You will have a chance to ask the doctor any questions you may have. This is when the doctors will collaborate with you to finalize the areas to be treated, so any joint you would like considered should be brought up at this appointment. Please keep in mind that assessing certain areas may take more time:
Tendons, Joints & Ligaments Assessment - 30 minutes
Spine or Neck Assessment- 60 minutes
TREATMENT: Once in the procedure room, we will extract a sample of blood, typically from your arm. The blood will then be processed in a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets, and this concentrated solution will be injected directly into the areas discussed at the assessment. This is all completed under ultrasound guidance. After the procedure you may be provided with a prescription for a pain killer(Tramadol or Tramacet). You can try Tylenol extra strength and fill the prescription only as a last resort.
Tendons, Joints & Ligaments PRP: 30-45 minutes
Spine or Neck PRP: 60-90 minutes