How Is PRP Administered?
In the office, blood is drawn from the patient and placed in a special centrifuge, where the blood is spun down. The platelets are separated from the red blood cells and are concentrated. The red blood cells are discarded, and the resulting platelet concentrate is used for treatment. While the blood is spinning in the centrifuge, the painful area is injected with lidocaine to numb it. The entire treatment, from a blood draw to solution preparation, to injection, takes 30-40 minutes.
How Often are Injections Given?
After the initial treatment, a follow-up visit is scheduled 6-8 weeks later. Some patients respond very well to just one treatment. However, typically 1-3 treatments are necessary.
Do PRP Injections Hurt?
Because the injured area is first anesthetized with lidocaine, the actual injections are slightly uncomfortable. Once the lidocaine wears off in a few hours, there is usually mild-to-moderate pain for the next few days. For the first week after the injections, it is critical to avoid anti-inflammatory medications, including Advil, Motrin, ibuprofen, Aleve, Celebrex. These will interfere with the healing response. Tylenol is OK. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication also.
Are There Risks With PRP?
Anytime a needle is placed anywhere in the body, even getting blood drawn, there is a risk of infection, bleeding, and nerve damage. However, these are very rare. Other complications, though rare, can occur depending on the area being treated, and will be discussed by your doctor before starting treatment.
What is the Success Rate?
Studies suggest an improvement of 80-85%. Some patients experience complete relief of their pain. The results are generally permanent.