Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP):
Platelet rich plasma (abbreviated PRP) is a cutting edge treatment used for certain common orthopedic conditions. Platelet activation plays a key role in the process of wound and soft tissue healing. PRP injections utilize a portion of the patient’s own blood to promote healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. It can be applied to various musculoskeletal problems.
PRP is a concentration of platelet cells, which have growth factor chemicals that signal the body to initiate the healing process. The goal of injecting PRP into areas of an injury is to attempt to stimulate and optimize your body's ability to heal chronic conditions.
What PRP Can Be Used For:
PRP has been used in operating rooms for several decades to help with healing wounds, as well as in spinal fusion surgery to stimulate bone formation. Recently, PRP has been used in outpatient settings for treatment of common hand and upper extremity conditions including:
Rotator Cuff Disease
How PRP Is Obtained:
PRP is obtained by withdrawing blood from a vein in the patient's arm. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge (a machine that spins at high speeds to separate the various types of blood cells.) Your doctor then extracts the platelet-rich portion of the blood, and injects this into the area of injury.
How PRP Is Injected:
PRP injections are given as soon as the blood has been spun and the platelets are separated. Sometimes an "activating agent" is added, usually either thrombin or calcium chloride. Other times physicians will only inject the platelets.
Most physicians perform one PRP injection, although sometimes they are given as a series of injections over a span of several weeks.
We know from laboratory studies that PRP can help increase certain growth factors that are important in the healing process.
Clinical studies are underway to determine if PRP is more helpful than other treatments for chronic tendonitis.
If You Are a Candidate for PRP:
If you are a candidate for PRP injections, and Dr. Sagini has recommended this, the procedure can be done right in our office. The procedure takes about 30 minutes in order to withdraw the blood, spin it in the centrifuge, and inject the PRP into the injured area.
Because it is such cutting edge technology, finding physicians who provide PRP injections can be challenging. Dr. Sagini is one of the few physicians in Southwest Florida who currently provides PRP injections.
PRP injections are often not covered by most insurance plans, so there is typically a fee for this service. For more information about this procedure and associated costs, please call our office at (239) 337-2003.
Risks of PRP:
Side effects of PRP injections are extremely uncommon. However, anytime a needle is inserted through the skin, there is a low risk possibility of infection.
PRP injections are not recommended in individuals with bleeding disorders, those taking anti-coagulation medications (e.g. Coumadin), or those who have cancer, active infections, or are pregnant.
For more information about PRP injections, or to make an appointment, call Dr. Sagini's office at (239) 337-2003.