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What is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma therapy (also known as PRP) is a pain-relieving treatment option that is non-operative. It naturally promotes the long-lasting healing of musculoskeletal conditions. As a knee pain doctor in Collegeville, PA like our friends at Premier Osteoarthritis Centers of Pennsylvania can explain, PRP is human blood that is spun and separated which produces a higher than normal concentration of platelets. Platelets are the cells that clot in our blood, but they are also able to enhance the healing of tendons, ligaments, and muscles.

There has been research that shows that platelets release growth factors that increase tissue repair and allow for faster soft tissue healing. Many people who have undergone PRP treatments believe they have been able to return to their regular activities with minimal to no pain. PRP therapy gives patients an option for a permanent, long-last solution that just enhances the body’s natural healing process. PRP is different from a traditional pain injection because it doesn’t just wear off after a certain amount of time. 

What can I use PRP for?

PRP therapy is the most effective for chronic tendon and ligament injuries that have not responded to more conservative treatments. Some conditions include:

  • Golf and tennis elbow
  • Knee sprains
  • Ankle sprains
  • Tendonitis
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Joint osteoarthritis
  • Hip and hamstring strains
  • Shoulder pain
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Lumbar spinal disc pain
  • Knee arthritis
  • Hip joint arthritis
  • Ankle arthritis
  • Shoulder arthritis


How do you receive PRP treatments?

The process of receiving PRP injections does not usually take more than an hour. During the procedure, a small amount of blood is taken from the patient. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge, which is a machine that spins blood at a fast rate to separate the blood into concentrated platelets and red blood cells. The red blood cells are then discarded and then the concentrated PRP is then ready to be used. Once the PRP has been created, it is then injected back into the injured area.


Depending on the spot of the injury, ultrasounds or x-rays will be used to ensure the proper location is being targeted. The number of injections a patient would need to receive depends on the severity of the injury. Typically, patients begin feeling relief after the first treatment but do not see full results until between two and six injections completed over time. 


PRP injections are not usually painful, but it does depend on the location of the injury. If there is pain following the procedure, it can be managed by taking over the counter medication. Anti-inflammatory medications should be avoided after the injection as they can impede the healing process. 


Are there any risks with PRP?

PRP is a very safe treatment option. There is no chance of an allergic reaction because the PRP comes directly from your own blood. There is a small risk of infection, nerve damage, and bleeding, as there is anytime a needle is used on the body. These risks are very rare. PRP is typically not used right when an injury takes place. PRP is considered after traditional treatments have proved ineffective for the injury.