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The Orthopedic Institute of Wisconsin
The Orthopedic Institute of Wisconsin
The Orthopedic Institute of Wisconsin
The Orthopedic Institute of Wisconsin
The Orthopedic Institute of Wisconsin

What is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma. It is becoming a popular, non-surgical method of treatment to treat various ailments that have traditionally been treated with surgical options. PRP comes from a patient’s own blood. It concentrates a specific cell type, known as platelets, which main function is for blood clotting. Platelets and the plasma which is concentrated in a PRP injection contain growth factors and other proteins which encourage healing and regeneration.

Does it work?

Several studies have been done and are ongoing. Overall at this time there is limited but promising results with PRP therapy.

One study has shown that PRP is more effective than hyaluronic acid in treating osteoarthritis. Clin Med Insights Arthritis Musculoskelet Disord. 2015 Jan 7;8:1-8.

PRP has also been shown to be more effective than cortisone injection for lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow). http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/39/6/1200 Am J Sports Med June 2011 vol. 39no. 6 1200-1208

There have been several animal studies showing positive results in acute and chronic tendon ailments, as well as ligament and muscle injuries.

Risks?

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It is considered a low risk option for treatment, since platelets come from a patient’s own body. There is a small theoretical risk of infection or allergic reaction.

After a PRP injection it is recommended to stop any medications or natural supplements that have anti-inflammatory properties such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and turmeric. We also recommend stopping anti-inflammatory treatments 7 days prior to the procedure.

Post Injection Treatment

Generally a patient will be sore 24-48 after injection. Ice and rest are the best options for this phase. Physical therapy will most likely be recommended within the next 1-2 weeks. It can take 8-12 weeks to notice a positive result, but it will not be effective for everyone. Certain patients may require one or two repeat injections within the first 3 months to maximize results.

Depending on the location of injection, a brace may be recommended for post-injection treatment as well.