Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a low risk, high reward option using your body’s own healing properties. It is used for painful joints, tendons, ligaments, or muscle from acute injury or chronic damage. We may opt for A2M which is PRP plus PPP to address more arthritis issues. PRP and A2M promote healing and expedites recovery while avoiding steroids and surgery. Many athletes and active individuals of a wide range of ages opt for this option. Recovery is faster and easier than surgery. There is extensive data to support this treatment.
There are several keys to making PRP and A2M successful. Patient selectivity and provider experience in addition to PRP or A2M procedure kit/centrifuge are vital. Like with so many things in life regarding quality, not all PRP and A2M are created equally.
Blood consists of a liquid component known as plasma. It includes 3 main solid components red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets. Platelets play a special role in clotting and they also excrete healing proteins called growth factors.
It casual terms, platelets “seal the cut and heal the cut.”
A2M is PRP same as above but instead of wasting the PPP (platelet poor plasma) that we have already accumulated during your blood draw, we harness a “jelly like” substance with it. This works better to go after degenerative proteins associated with arthritis whereas PRP tends to work better for tendons and ligaments (such as rotator cuff, tennis elbow, etc).
With both, we are concentrating this healing property and applying it directly in the place of need such as with a strain, sprain, degeneration, partial tear, and more.
Normal blood specimen contains:
- 6% platelets
Platelet Rich Plasma specimen can contain:
- Up to 94% platelets
- (5-10x concentration of growth factors=higher healing properties)
The goal of this treatment option is to:
- Decrease pain
- Decrease inflammation
- Improve function
- Heal the injury including small or partial tears
- Prevent further degeneration process
- Delay or avoid need for surgery
- Obtain blood specimen of 60-120cc
- Relax x 10-15 min while specimen is centrifuged using our high-quality preparation kit and centrifuge to concentrate your platelets or obtain A2M
- Anesthetize (“numb”) the area of injection
- Apply the PRP and or A2M product to area of need – most often with use of ultrasound
- Relax x 10 more min in office
- Rest at home remainder of the day/evening
It is normal to feel sore for 2-3 days and rarely up to 7-14 days or more. This is due to the healing process taking place. Take time to rest and “listen to your body” during this time. Eat well and rest more than usual. It will be worth it in the long run.
Avoid anti-inflammatories topically and orally for 7 days following the treatment. You may use over the counter analgesics (Tylenol, lidocaine) instead. Use of ice is discouraged.
Usually, you are back to PT or light sport by day 10-14 and back to full-fledged exercise or sport in 30 days. You may do other exercise not using the affected limb in the initial phase. This will be discussed more fully on an individual basis.
It takes 6-8 weeks on average for the “full effect” but can take up to 12 weeks.
Data supports that repeating PRP procedure in a series of 2-3 is more effective but we base this on each individual case. Most often, we are able to reach our goals with 1-2 PRP treatments, 4 weeks apart.
RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS?
With PRP and A2M treatments, risk is very low. The main component that can pose risk is the injection procedure itself, not the product injected (since that is your own).
- Increase pain after treatment
- Damage to nerve or other tissue
- Scar tissue at injection site
- Calcification at injection site
It is most valuable to schedule a consultation to discuss your issue, goals, and whether PRP treatment is the best option for you. We look forward to meeting you!