Why are people talking about platelet rich plasma (PRP)?
You may have heard in the news about a professional athlete like Tiger Woods or Alex Rodriguez receiving a PRP injection, or maybe your friend or family member has undergone PRP treatment. These patients have received a new treatment called platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy, whereby a solution of your body’s own growth factors are injected directly into the site of injury.
What Injuries can a doctor treat with PRP?
PRP is a fairly new therapy that shows promise in treating a wide variety of injuries. Knee injuries including ACL and MCL tears, knee pain, and osteoarthritis of the knee are ailments where platelet rich plasma therapy has been used. Additionally, spine injuries, rotator cuff tears, pelvic pain, jumper’s knee, back and neck injuries, plantar fasciitis and tennis elbow can be treated with PRP.
How does PRP work?
Platelets are known to be an integral part to your body’s natural healing process. Platelet rich plasma therapy is created in a centrifuge using your own blood right in our office. It is highly concentrated solution containing up to 8 times the normal amount of platelets per volume. In addition to platelets, PRP contains numerous growth factors including transforming growth factor-β, platelet-derived growth factor, insulin-like growth factor-I, vascular endothelial growth factor, epidermal growth factor, and hepatocyte growth factor. Several of these have been shown to increase bone and soft tissue healing.
Who should receive PRP therapy?
Patients who have nagging, long-standing injuries that have received little or no relief from traditional corticosteroid injections are great candidates to try platelet rich plasma therapy. Also patients who are hoping to avoid surgery may want to consider a PRP injection. It is important to note that because PRP is a new therapy, there aren’t as many studies as experts would like. However, there are several cohort studies and anecdotal evidence that support the use of PRP.
What is it like to receive a PRP injection?
Because platelet rich plasma therapy uses your own blood, there is almost zero risk for rejection. Some patients may feel a dull ache in the area of the injection immediately following the procedure due to the fact that a needle is used. The procedure takes less than a half hour and is done with the patient awake. PRP injections are not covered by most insurance companies, but Precision VIR offers financing options and affordable cash prices.
What to do next?
If you would like to learn more, schedule an appointment with one of the doctors at Precision VIR. Precision VIR is the leading independent interventional radiology practice in Texas. We pride ourselves on providing minimally invasive, leading-edge treatments to all of our patients in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.