What is PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma Injection? 

How can PRP Help Me? 

How does it work? You donít have to suffer anymore!

This information will answer the following questions for you:

        What is PRP?

        What does the procedure involve, and does it hurt?

        What kind of recovery can I expect?

        Is the procedure covered by my insurance?

        How does the PRP injection work?

        What other conditions can PRP  injections be used for?

 

PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma.  Platelets are cells found in your body, and are responsible for clotting and beginning the process of healing any injured tissue.    The use of platelets and platelet derived growth factors in medicine (wound care and treatment of soft tissue injuries)is state of the art! This high technology treatment is delivered via an injection to the injured tissue or wound.

The procedure is quite simple. In the hospital or free standing surgery cetnter the patient has a vile of blood drawn. This blood is placed in a centrifuge for about 15 minutes until the platelets and plasma are separated from the other blood cells found in peripheral blood. The patient is brought to a procedure room where they are lightly sedated so they feel nothing, and a local anesthetic is given at the site of the PRP injection. Roughly 6cc's of platelet rich plasma is then injected into the injured wound, tendon, or tissue.

The recovery is based upon the type of injury you have. If it is used for treatment of plantar fascitis, achilles tendonitis, or other tendon injuries, you may be placed in a fracture walker for a period of a 2-6 weeks depending upon the condition. If you are receiving a PRP injection to help heal a chronic wound, you will be non-weight bearing for a period of time to allow the associated graft to take (we often use a skin graft to cover the wound after PRP).  

 At this time, coverage has been approved by almost every insurance company.  The main issues with insurance is the location of where the procedure can be performed.  For most cases, it can be performed in a state-of-the-art ambulatory surgical center, but in some cases, it needs to be performed at Monmouth Medical Center, where Dr. Abrams has been on staff for 17 years.

Platelet -rich plasma (PRP) is currently used as an alternative treatment method for several common orthopaedic-related sports medicine conditions.  According to a new study in the October 2009  issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS), early outcomes of PRP appear promising; however, larger clinical studies are still needed to determine the benefits of its use.

Many surgeons and researchers believe that PRP may catalyze the body's repair mechanisms at areas of injury, improve healing and shorten recovery time, however  more research must be performed to identify the exact reason for PRP's promising outcomes.  

PRP has been used for the past two decades to improve wound healing and bone grafting procedures by plastic and maxillofacial (mouth, jaw and neck) surgeons. It is only in recent years that podiatric and orthopaedic surgeons and sports medicine specialists have utilized this technology.

PRP use in sports medicine primarily has been for the treatment of chronic tendon conditions, but also for acute muscle injuries and for the augmentation of tendon repair and bone grafting in the operating room.

In addition, chronic neuropathic foot ulcerations have been successfully treated using a combination of surgical debridement, PRP injection and skin grafting techniques.