Platelet rich plasma therapy is a type of procedure with the goal being to accelerate healing of osteoarthritis and tendon injuries. Specially prepared platelets are taken from the patient’s own blood and re-injected into the affected area of soft bone or tissue, such as a ligament or tendon. This procedure is performed under ultrasound guidance to ensure accuracy. “Growth factors” are released from the platelets, with the intention to increase tissue healing.
Patients may experience pain relief within 3-4 weeks after the procedure. Symptoms may continue over a period of 3-6 months. The timeframe for experiencing results depends on the area and extent of injury.
Patients can expect to be in the office for about an hour. It can generally take about 30 minutes to draw blood and process the platelets and can take the physician 10-20 minutes to complete the procedure.
By the next day, previous activities may be resumed unless there are complications. Despite improvement, you are cautioned against engaging in strenuous activities. A gradual increase in activities is advised, as it can take several weeks for the tissues to heal.
This is an especially safe option of treatment with no risk of allergic reaction as we are using the patient’s own blood. The most common side effect is temporary discomfort. Serious side effects and complications are uncommon. Other risks include but are not limited to: infection, bleeding, worsening of pain, nerve damage, seizure and death.