Key Points About Platelet Rich Plasma Injection (PRP Injection)
- A PRP injection is a type of orthopedic therapy used to heal damaged joints, ligaments, tendons, or muscles.
- Your doctor may recommend PRP therapy to relieve pain associated with chronic tendon injuries, acute injuries, postsurgical repair, or osteoarthritis.
- Your doctor will take a sample of your blood and spin it in a centrifuge to isolate the plasma. The concentrated plasma is then injected directly into the affected area to promote healing.
- The process takes approximately one hour. It may take a few weeks or months to see results from the therapy.
A platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection is an orthopedic therapy that uses a patient's platelets to accelerate the healing of damaged joints, ligaments, tendons, or muscles.
Your plasma contains proteins that help your blood clot as well as support cell growth. By isolating the plasma and concentrating it, it can promote healing when injected into injured tissue. When injected, the body will begin creating new, healthy cells that help the body's tissues heal faster.
Candidates for a Platelet Rich Plasma Injection (PRP Injection)
Your doctor may recommend a PRP injection to help the following orthopedic conditions:
- Chronic tendon injuries such as tennis elbow and Achilles tendonitis, jumper’s knee, or patellar tendon pain.
- Acute injuries such as pulled hamstrings or knee sprains.
- Postsurgical repair to repair torn tendons such as in a rotator cuff tendon or ACL.
Risks Associated with Platelet Rich Plasma Injection (PRP Injection)
Your doctor will discuss risks associated with the procedure before you decide to move forward. Because PRP contains substances that come from your body, the risks of an allergic reaction to the cortisone or hyaluronic acid included in the mixture are lower.
Risks associated with the injection include:
- Nerve injury
- Damage to tissue
- Pain at the injection site
Preparing for a Platelet Rich Plasma Injection (PRP Injection)
Before your procedure, your doctor will outline what you can expect before, during, and after your PRP injection.
What to Expect During a Platelet Rich Plasma Injection (PRP Injection)
During a PRP injection, your health care team will take a sample of your blood and place it in a centrifuge. The centrifuge will spin the blood, making the components of the blood separate. This process takes approximately 15 minutes.
A member of your care team will take the separated plasma to make an injection. Your doctor will use an ultrasound or other imaging technique to locate the affected area. Your doctor will then inject the PRP directly into the area.
Duration of Platelet Rich Plasma Injection (PRP Injection) Treatment and Recovery
A PRP injection process takes approximately one hour.
While most people can continue their daily activities after a PRP injection, your doctor will instruct you to rest the affected area for a specified period.
You may not experience immediate symptom relief, but you will likely notice the affected area is healing faster in the weeks following the injection.