PRP injections can be helpful for knee pain or recovering from knee injuries.

What are PRP Injections?

PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. The platelets are known to contain anti-inflammatory and growth or healing factors.  This treatment involves using special equipment to separate the platelets from the plasma in the blood. PRP has anti-inflammatory and growth factor properties which use the body’s own healing factors and recruit stem cells to help decrease pain, increase range of motion and in some cases heal injured tissue. The process of concentrating the plasma and platelets is performed right in the office.  The physician then injects the PRP back into the area of pain or injury.

Who should try PRP Injections?

OrthoNebraska may recommend this treatment for adolescents or adults with arthritis or with acute or chronic muscle or tendon injuries. PRP injections are a newer treatment and thus, fascinating research is continuing. Most case reports, and placebo-controlled and comparison trials have shown that PRP is safe and effective for many musculoskeletal conditions.  PRP injections can be performed as a first-line treatment or after other treatments have failed eg. corticosteroid injections and/or hyaluronic injections. The most common conditions in which PRP has been effective are for joint degeneration/arthritis, elbow tendinitis, gluteal tendinitis, hamstring strains/tendinitis, ischial bursitis and patellar tendinitis. However, most insurance plans will not yet cover this type of new treatment. Currently, each injection costs $675 at OrthoNebraska which is a total cost for both the office visit and procedure, which are done together in one appointment.

How Well Do PRP Injections Work?

Research is in various stages of accomplishment. A lot more information and research is needed on exact protocols for each condition or way of using PRP. We do know that PRP is most effective in treating mild to moderate injuries or degeneration such as acute or chronic tendon injury, muscle injuries, arthritis, cartilage wear, and bursitis. PRP has been found in most situations to decrease pain and increase range of motion. There is no higher risk of minor complications when compared to typical knee injections like cortisone. Individuals who are interested in PRP injections for arthritis or tendon injuries are encouraged to ask their physician or orthopedic surgeon regarding this treatment opportunity.

What can I expect when I have PRP Injections?

PRP injections are performed in an office setting rather than the hospital. PRP injections into the joint can cause mild pain for several hours and up to 72 hours similar to other cortisone injections. PRP injections into a tendon or muscle can cause a temporary flare of pain for 3-14 days. Most improvement in the conditions is seen between 1-3 months and can continue to be seen for up to 6 months! Most research has shown that a series of 2-3 injections produces the most effectiveness.

2 Weeks Before the Procedure
We have a list of recommendations that will be given to each individual prior to their injection(s). In general, we recommended stopping anti-inflammatory medications and supplements 2 weeks prior. Hydration is also very important. Low intake of alcohol and caffeine are also recommended to increase hydration. The body’s hydration level is important to maximize the amount of PRP that is obtained.

Day of Procedure
Expect to be in the office for 60 to 90 minutes. Blood is drawn (typically from the arm), transferred to a special syringe and placed in a centrifuge (spun) to concentrate the platelets. The injection site will then be prepped and local anesthetic injected into the skin and soft tissues. Ultrasound guidance is often used to ensure pinpoint accuracy of the injection site. The PRP will then be injected. Post-injection rehabilitation instructions and exercises will then be discussed.

After PRP
Most individuals are recommended to rest relatively from strenuous activities for 1-3 days depending on the location of injection and how active it will be during activity.

How Do I Schedule a PRP Injection?

Due to the various conditions and protocols for each, PRP consultation visits are required to discuss each individual treatment diagnosis and treatment plan. PRP will then be scheduled. You can call (402) 609-3000 to schedule today.