Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy is a minimally invasive non-surgical treatment that promotes healing without surgery. Platelets are a specialized type of blood cells that are involved in injury healing. With PRP, a concentrated platelet solution is injected into the injured area to stimulate healing.
There are numerous clinical studies showing PRP promotes healing in a variety of orthopedic injuries, and may eliminate the need for more aggressive treatments, such as long-term medications or surgery.
PRP can be used for muscle, ligament and tendon tears, overuse injuries, tendonitis and tendonosis, and osteoarthritis, including:
The body’s natural reaction to an injury is to send platelets from the blood to the damaged tissues to initiate healing. Platelets store growth factors that help with healing, and when injected directly into injured tissue, they stimulate and enhance the body’s own healing response.
PRP is performed in the office. Blood is drawn from the patient, and concentrated in a centrifuge. Platelets and growth factors are separated and then injected into the injured area using ultrasound guidance to ensure the PRP is placed into the injured tendon or joint.
The entire treatment from blood draw to completion takes 45 minutes.
We use musculoskeletal ultrasound to identify the injured tendon, ligament or joint. Ultrasound is then used to guide the needle for the injection.
PRP is performed with sterile technique and is created in a closed-system device. Anytime a needle is placed anywhere in the body, even getting blood drawn, there is a risk of infection, bleeding, tendon and nerve damage. However, complications are very rare.
PRP injections are performed under local anesthesia with numbing medication. Patients will typically feel a pressure when injecting a tendon. Mild to moderate swelling or soreness can occur at the injection site and these effects typically resolve within a few days to a week.
Most patients will need only one procedure. Studies of tennis elbow have shown that 85-95% of patients have complete relief of their pain with one injection, and the results are generally permanent.
In severe tendon or ligament injuries, more than one injection is sometimes needed. When treating arthritis, a second or third injection can be helpful.
PRP has been used for decades, often to treat professional athletes who are looking to avoid surgery and minimize recovery time.
Despite growing evidence and studies, PRP is considered “experimental” by most insurance plans and most plans do not cover PRP therapy. Health Saving Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts can be used towards the payment of the procedure. Our billing department can answer questions regarding cost.
Dr. Sussman is published in peer-review journals on the use of regenerative medicine and platelet rich plasma injection, including on the role of rehabilitation after regenerative injections.
WHAT MAKES PRP THERAPY DIFFERENT AT BOSTON SPORTS & BIOLOGICS
Like all medical procedures, regenerative procedures have a success and failure rate. Not all patients will experience the same results, and results may vary based on an individual’s overall condition, severity of the pathology and recovery time.