© 2019 Efren F. Wu, MD Inc.

 

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections

 

Platelet rich plasma, also known as "PRP", is a treatment option that utilizes the healing power of your own blood to help treat non-healing tendon injuries, such as, tennis elbow and Achilles tendonitis.  PRP has also more recently has shown promise in treating osteoarthritis. The PRP injection contains valuable proteins and growth factors that your body may use to begin repairing chronic soft tissue and osteoarthritis.

How does PRP work?

Using the patient's own blood, a special technique is utilized to isolate platelets which are known to release growth factors in the natural healing process.  By isolating platelets into a super-concentrated solution, and injecting it directly to the injured tendon or arthritic joint, we are able to increase the the growth factors by up to a factor of 8-10x, therefore inducing the natural healing process.

What are the risks of PRP?

Since it is the patient's own blood used for the PRP solution, there is little to no risk of rejection.  Although uncommon, there is a small risk of localized infection and bruising at the site of injection.

 

How many injections are needed?

Every patient's case is different, but typical course of PRP is 1 to 2 injections, separated by a 4-6 weeks.

 

How do I know if PRP is for me?

Patients should consider PRP treatment, if they have been diagnosed with a tendon injury or osteoarthritis that has failed to improve with conservative treatments.  A consultation whereby your medical history and radiology images will be reviewed to determine if you may be a suitable candidate for PRP treatments.

How soon can I expect results?

How quickly you can expect depends on the condition and body part being treated.  The typical protocol includes relative rest for approximately 1-2 weeks after injection, followed by a course of formal physical therapy for an additional 4-6 weeks, after which a follow-up appointment for re-evaluation is scheduled.  With a positive response, most patients experience significant improvement in symptoms within 6-8 weeks after injection.

 

How much does PRP cost and is it covered by my insurance?

The cost of PRP treatment varies based on number of injections you receive. A single injection costs $500 - $700, depending on the site of injection.  Insurance companies for the most part won’t pay for PRP therapy.  If you are considering PRP, a payment plan may be discussed at the time of your consultation.