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From Physician to Patient: My PRP Injection

For physicians, it is always an invaluable and humbling experience to change roles and play the part of patient. Dealing with a chronic injury is frustrating to say the least, and having your symptoms suddenly worsen can be downright scary.

As a sufferer of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, for some time, I’ve understood and utilized the benefits of weight control, dietary management, nutritional supplementation and physical therapy to manage my OA.

Dr. Carroll BikingRecently, after putting in some big miles cycling in the Rocky Mountains, I began experiencing more than my usual swelling and stiffness. Because my symptoms were worsening, I made up my mind that it was time to be more proactive about my knees, in hopes of avoiding the need for surgery down the road. So I decided to undergo Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy on my left knee.  Like most people, I have a bit of trepidation when it comes to getting injections or having my blood drawn.

With the PRP process, several steps were taken that minimized both my anxiety and discomfort. Firstly, my blood was drawn by a specially trained Phlebotomist. Then, after my platelet rich plasma was isolated by centrifuge, the injection site on my knee was sprayed with a numbing ethyl chloride spray. This was followed by a fast acting local anesthetic. With these steps, I felt very little of the injection and no significant discomfort. Keep in mind, the amount of discomfort may be greater for certain individuals.

In the following days, I did have some stiffness and increased swelling. However, I’m happy to report that one month after my treatment,

I’m back on the bike climbing the hills around our home with little to no pain and less swelling than I’ve had in years.