Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

June 24, 2010  |   Posted by :   |   Services   |   3 Comments»

PRP, or “platelet-rich plasma,” is a revolutionary new treatment for chronic sports and musculoskeletal injuries that is taking the sports medicine and orthopedic community by storm.  Platelets are a specialized type of blood cell.  Blood is made up of 93% red cells (RBCs), 6% platelets, 1% white blood cells (WBCs), and plasma.

Most people associate platelets with clot formation.  While that certainly is an important function of platelets, they are also very much involved in injury healing.  Human platelets are naturally extremely rich in connective tissue growth factors.  Injecting these growth factors into damaged ligaments, tendons, and joints stimulates a natural repair process.  But in order to benefit from these natural healing proteins, the platelets must first be concentrated.  In other words, PRP recreates and stimulates the body’s natural healing process.

In the office, blood is drawn from the patient (just like getting a blood test) and placed in a special centrifuge.  The centrifuge separates the RBCs, and the remaining platelets and plasma are then highly concentrated.  (The WBCs, which comprise only a fraction of the total cells, go along for the ride with the platelets and plasma.)  The red blood cells are discarded, and the resulting platelet concentrate is used for treatment.

While the blood is spinning in the centrifuge (about 18 minutes), the painful area is injected with lidocaine to numb it.  In most cases the injections are given under direct ultrasound guidance to insure accurate placement of the platelet concentrate in the damaged area.  The entire treatment, from blood draw, to solution preparation, to injection, takes 30-40 minutes. After the initial treatment, a follow up visit is scheduled 6-8 weeks later to check on healing progress. Some patients respond very well to just one treatment. However, typically 2-3 treatments are necessary. Injections are given every 8-12
weeks.

PRP treatment works best for chronic ligament and tendon sprains/strains that have failed
other conservative treatment, including:

  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Shoulder pain and instability
  • Tennis & golfer’s elbow
  • Hamstring and hip strains
  • Knee sprains and instability
  • Patellofemoral syndrome and patellar tendinosis
  • Ankle sprains
  • Achilles tendinosis & plantar fasciitis
  • Knee, hip, and other joint osteoarthritis
  • Sports hernias & athletic pubalgia
  • Other chronic tendon and ligament problems

In addition, PRP can be very helpful for many cases of osteoarthritis (the “wear & tear” kind).
PRP can help stimulate a “smoothing over” of the roughened and arthritic cartilage, reducing
the pain and disability of arthritis.  This includes:

  • Knee arthritis
  • Hip joint arthritis
  • And other joint arthritis

Most insurance plans, including Medicare, do NOT pay for PRP injections.  Studies suggest an
improvement of 80-85%. Some patients experience complete relief of their pain. The results are
generally permanent.  Because this is a new therapy, well controlled human studies are lacking.
If you desire to have PRP therapy, Dr. Glaser will evaluate you and discuss the risks and benefits
of the procedure and then will set up a date for the procedure to take place.

Patient information on PRP process
View a CNN news story on PRP.
Read a New York Times article on PRP.
Read a Philadelphia Inquirer article on PRP.

Tulsa World Article on PRP

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3 Comments for this entry

  • Errol Pinski

    June 23rd, 2013 on 3:43 am

    A hernia occurs when an organ or fatty tissue squeezes through a weak spot in a surrounding muscle or connective tissue called fascia. The most common types of hernia are inguinal (inner groin), incisional (resulting from an incision), femoral (outer groin), umbilical (belly button), and hiatal (upper stomach).-,*:

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  • Alfonzo Drury

    July 1st, 2013 on 5:26 pm

    Plantar fasciitis is particularly common in runners. In addition, people who are overweight, women who are pregnant and those who wear shoes with inadequate support are at risk of plantar fasciitis. ..:;,

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  • Houston Upmeyer

    July 3rd, 2013 on 6:12 pm

    Shoulder pain may be localized or may be deferred to areas around the shoulder or down the arm. Disease within the body (such as gallbladder, liver, or heart disease, or disease of the cervical spine of the neck) also may generate pain that the brain may interpret as arising from the shoulder.:.`”

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