You CAN return to your regular workout, tennis schedule, or simply enjoy bounding up stairs again, pain-free.
PRP joint injections are proving to be ideal treatments for our San Diego and La Jolla patients with pain stemming from:
Platelet-rich plasma is nothing more than a few tubes of your own drawn blood which is run through a centrifuge in a process that isolates its powerful platelets. These platelets are proteins that stimulate cell growth and differentiation. When the platelets are re-injected into your knee they help heal tendons, cartilage, and bone, and even boost production of joint or synovial fluid.
Platelets heal injured, damaged tissues in two ways:
Because PRP injections consist of only your own blood with nothing added, allergic or other adverse reactions are not typically a risk.
If the patient has a significant allergy history—skin or serum testing for specific allergy may be required before therapy.
Over the last 20 years, this evidence-based procedure has been used on millions of patients and has been proven safe.
More exciting, PRP injections also have earned “Level 1/Level A evidence status,” meaning that many robust studies establishing its effectiveness have been conducted. Further Level 1/Level A status means that additional researchers have conducted meta-analyses or the studies of those studies. These meta-analyses have also concluded that PRP knee injections effectively heal the joint long-term.
Joints are vulnerable to several types of ligament and tendon tears. If you’ve been diagnosed with a “sprain,” most likely you have injured a tendon, ligament, and/or even the bones in the joint.
Injured joints swell, limiting their range of motion or even making them immobile (referred to as locked knee.) If you’ve heard that you have one of the following issues, PRP joint injections may help you.
The PRP procedure is simple, requiring less than an hour of your time. No preparation is involved other than avoiding any steroidal or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (see list below)—neither prescribed, over the counter, oral, or injection—for two weeks prior to PRP treatment. Anti-inflammatory drugs to avoid include: steroidal drugs such as cortisone and prednisone and nonsteroidal drugs such as Advil, Alka Seltzer, Anaprox, Artrotec, Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), Motrin (ibuprofen), Naprosyn, Percodan, Vioxx, any Cox-2 inhibitors, or white willow bark derivatives and cold medicines. Please call your provider if you are uncertain.
If the patient has a significant allergy history—skin or serum testing for specific allergy may be required before therapy. Tobacco and other nicotine sources significantly impede the effectiveness of PRP. In fact, they can cause delayed healing (requiring more than the statistical average number of sessions), incomplete healing, or no healing at all.
The full procedure may take between 30-45 minutes. We will take a blood draw which will be processed immediately while you rest. We may use some topical numbing cream to prepare you for the injection, but most patients report feeling nothing more than a little pinch without the numbing cream. We will schedule a follow-up appointment to check your progress.
Healing of ligaments and tendons is a slow process and requires time and patience. Most ligaments and tendons heal within a period of 3 months; however, the majority of healing after a PRP session occurs in the first two weeks. The first 4 days post-PRP treatment are the most important. Because the PRP is calling on blood and stem cells to flood the joint, expect some swelling that lasts up to one week. Avoid stressing the knee or you may cause the treatment to be ineffective.
The next 10 days should be a gradual return to 60-75% activity levels using pain as your indication to pull back.
The number of PRP injections you’ll need depends on the severity of your injury. Often 2-3 treatments are advised. A single PRP injection is sufficient for soft tissue injuries, particularly when the patient is also undergoing physical therapy.
If the patient is looking to treat a chronic condition like osteoarthritis or joint chondromalacia, a repeat supplemental treatment may be advised. Osteoarthritis is an ongoing degenerative condition. Patients should consult with their providers about the type of supplemental treatment.
Use this form to reach out to us with your PRP injection questions. We’re happy to address your unique challenges.