Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy is a relatively simple process in which the body’s potent healing factors are concentrated from a sample of blood and re-injected into a damaged or injured area (e.g. the knee joint). This is a procedure that can be easily performed in the clinic and takes approximately 30 minutes.
Platelets are a treasure trove of several healing and growth factors which work to reduce pain and inflammation in the knee joint, promote healing, improve joint function, and decrease pain.
Studies have shown PRP therapy to be effective in treating pain due to arthritis, as well as pain stemming from tendon and ligament injuries or a torn meniscus.
Since PRP therapy only utilizes your body’s own healing properties there is no risk of allergic reaction or rejection of the treatment by the body. However, since the growth factors trigger a complex cascade of healing, swelling and discomfort may be experienced for a few days after receiving PRP treatment. Most patients are able to drive themselves to and from the appointment and do not need time off from work.
Since insurance companies consider this treatment experimental in the United States, insurance will not pay for PRP treatments at this time. We anticipate that as it becomes more popular and widely available this will eventually change.
Surprisingly, PRP treatments cause only minimal discomfort for most patients. Most local anesthetics are not recommended with PRP because studies have shown they cause the deactivation of crucial growth factors when utilized with PRP therapy. However, the experts at Reflex use a topical cold spray that provides some local numbing of the skin so the discomfort is minimal. If needed, our doctors can prescribe a medication to reduce anxiety and pain that may be caused by the procedure.
The initial reaction to a PRP injection is usually mild discomfort. Although rare, some patients may experience an inflammatory response, which may present as swelling, redness, and pain. Typically patients do experience some discomfort beyond 3-5 days.
This will vary depending on your personal fitness level and response to the injection. We advise patients avoid high-impact activities such as running or jumping for 48-72 hours. We suggest starting with low-impact exercises such as walking or elliptical and slowly increasing your activities until you are able to return to your regular workout routine.
With every injection, there is a small chance of infection. Reflex Knee Specialists are proud to have a very strong safety record, with only a single infection in over a decade of practice.
There is little risk of reactions to medications, but please let the doctor know if you are on blood-thinning medications since this slightly increases the risk of bleeding. If you are prescribed a medication to ease pain or anxiety there is a potential risk that it may interact with your existing medications. For this reason, you should discuss all medications with the physician at your appointment.
Brisk exercise immediately before the procedure can boost platelet counts by 30%. Arriving to your appointment well-hydrated will also facilitate the blood draw. A rehab program, such as physical therapy may be recommended by the Reflex physician to support the best possible outcomes.
Call 503-719-6783 today to schedule your consultation!