This plasma is naturally produced in your blood and helps your body maintain many of its regular healthy processes.
WHAT IS PRP?
PRP is platelet-rich plasma. This plasma is naturally produced in your blood and helps your body maintain many of its regular healthy processes. Using it in the form of a PRP treatment can have numerous benefits, including promoting the repair of arthritic cartilage and enhancing the body’s natural healing ability.
The PRP procedure involves taking blood out of the patient, spinning it until it is highly concentrated with platelets, and injecting those concentrating platelets into the knee. The procedure typically takes 30 minutes. You may experience two to three days of soreness may following the injections. Typical PRP knee injection recovery time is a few days, and pain relief typically begins to occur within three to four weeks from treatment and continues improving for a few months afterward.
Blood has two components. Plasma, which is the liquid and largest component of blood and small solid components such as red cells, white cells and platelets. The platelets help the blood clot and contain hundreds of proteins called GROWTH FACTORS which are very important in the healing of injuries.
Growth Factors and cytokines present in PRP include:
Platelet derived growth factor
Transforming growth factor
Fibroblast growth factor
Insulin-like growth factor 1
Insulin growth factor 2
Vascular endothelial growth factor
Epidermal growth factor
Keratinocyte growth factor
Connective tissue growth factor
PRP is plasma with many more platelets than what is typically found in the blood. The higher the concentration of platelets in the blood, the higher the concentration of growth factors which in turn are believed to promote increased tissue repair and healing. With PRP, the concentration of growth factors can be 5-10 times more than in normal plasma
HOW DO YOU GET PRP?
To get a PRP sample, a blood sample must be drawn from the patient. The blood is then put into a centrifuge that rotates at a high speed, which separates the platelets from the other blood cells. The concentrated platelets are then combined with the remaining blood and injected into the patients affected area.
WHO SHOULD GET PRP?
PRP has been used for a variety of medical conditions such as nerve injury, chronic tendon injuries, osteoarthritis, fractures, acute ligament and muscle injuries, cardiac muscle injury, plastic and oral surgery.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS PRP?
Platelet-rich plasma can have multiple benefits for osteoarthritis of the knee. Along with improving growth in arthritic cartilage, PRP for osteoarthritis can:
Reduce pain and inflammation caused by osteoarthritis: The PRP injection knee treatment can help reduce pain and inflammation that is caused by osteoarthritis and other bone issues by lessening the overall stress on your joints.
Activate stem cells and increase growth and repair of damaged tissue: PRP injection treatments have been shown to activate stem cells and increase growth and repair of damaged tissue. The PRP procedure involves the use of concentrated platelets, which have been known to improve overall functions and processes in the body.
Slow progression of osteoarthritis while improving current discomfort: PRP can also improve discomfort caused by osteoarthritis.
A study conducted by the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York also showed that PRP injection knee treatments improved overall pain and knee function in up to 73% of patients and slowed the progression of osteoarthritis. RP has some very promising results however more research studies are needed to back up the clinical results.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF PRP?
The risks of PRP are minimal. There is always a small risk of infection with any injection and some patients may experience some pain and/or inflammation at the injection site.
HOW MANY INJECTIONS WILL I RECEIVE?
The number of injections varies depending upon the site being injected. Usually patients being treated for OA of the knee will receive 2-3 injections done 2-4 weeks apart.
ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS BEFORE MY PRP TREATMENT?
Stop all anti-inflammatory medications for 2 weeks prior to injections (e.g. Advil, ASA, Aleve, Naprosyn, Voltaren, Arthrotec, and Celebrex.)
Patients MUST INFORM THE NP if:
You are on anti-coagulation therapy such as Coumadin, Plavix, Pradax, Low molecular weight heparin
You are Pregnant
You have an active infection at the injection site
You have a local tumour at the site of injection
You have metastatic disease (cancer).
ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS AFTER MY INJECTION?
It is generally a good idea to avoid any strenuous activities for a few days after the PRP. Only resume sporting activities if you are pain free with activities of daily living. Individuals taking anti-inflammatories should wait 1 week after their complete course of PRP treatments before resuming.
HOW QUICKLY CAN I EXPECT RESULTS?
Most people start experiencing a response 2-3 weeks after the final injection
HOW MANY TIMES CAN I HAVE PRP THERAPY?
PRP can be done a 2-3 injections a couple of times a year for OA of a joint. For an acute injury one treatment should be all that is indicated.