PRP Joint & Tendon Injections
PRP Joint & Tendon Injections
PRP is a revolutionary non-operative treatment option that relieves pain by using the healing and growth factors in the blood to stimulate and accelerate the body’s natural healing process.
What is PRP?
Platelets are a natural component of our blood along with red and white blood cells. They are best known for their function of blood clotting to stop bleeding. They are a critical component to healing as they initiate repair of an injured tissue or diseased area. They also attract stem cells to the injury.
How is PRP created?
The process to create PRP is highly technical process but is conveniently done at the office. A small amount of blood is drawn from the patient just like a routine blood test. It is then put in a special FDA approved centrifuge machine that isolates the platelet rich plasma for injection. This takes about 25min.
Which conditions benefit most from PRP?
Tendon and joint injury: shoulder (rotator-cuff injuries), elbow (tennis and golfers elbow), wrist and hand, hip, knee, foot and ankle, including achilles tendon issues, and plantar fasciitis.
Nerve Entrapment syndromes such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Arthritis: Shoulder, hand, hip, knee and ankle.
How is PRP injected and is it painful?
We us a special musculoskeletal ultrasound machine to precisely localize the site to treat and then inject the PRP into the injured tendon, ligament, muscle, or joint, that has been identified to be the source of pain. The procedure may cause mild discomfort for a few hours which can be minimized with Tylenol. Joint space injections are usually not painful. The entire process takes less than an hour.
What are the risks with PRP treatment?
There is little or no risk using PRP, especially compare to other treatments since it is your very own blood that is used. However, anytime a needle is placed in the body there is a potential risk of infection, bleeding, tendon or nerve damage. This is rare since great care is taken and we use ultrasound for localization.
When can I expect to feel better?
The time is variable as this is your body healing your body. Generally, some improvement is seen in 4-12 weeks. Some people will need more than one treatment and we do recommend a well-designed course of physical therapy for 4-6 weeks, and to avoid aggressive physical activity for a few weeks. You must also avoid anti-inflammatory medications and supplements such as tumeric , tart cherry juice, naproxen, ibuprofen, and corticosteroids.
Which patients should consider PRP treatment?
If pain affects your daily activities.
If physical therapy has not adequately improved function or reduced pain.
If you are unable to tolerate anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, are not getting adequate relief, or you want to avoid long term use of medications.
If you want to avoid surgery or surgery is just not an option.
Contraindications for PRP Therapy
Platelet-rich plasma injections may not be appropriate for a patient who:
- has a medical condition that could worsen or spread with injections, such as an active infection, a metastatic disease, or certain skin diseases
- has certain blood and bleeding disorders
- is undergoing anticoagulation therapy (and cannot temporarily suspend treatment)
- is anemic
- is pregnant
- any patient on corticosteroids or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that cannot be stopped for at least 3 weeks.
Suggested Indications for Treating Tendon and joint disease with PRP:
Pain affects daily activities
Physical therapy has not adequately improved function and reduced pain.
Patient is unable to tolerate anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or is not getting adequate pain relief; or wants to avoid long term use of medications.
Surgery is not an option or patient wants to avoid surgery.
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*Preferred appointment times are not guaranteed but Dr. Kulback will do her best to accommodate you.