Prime candidates for this non-surgical procedure are individuals who pursue an active lifestyle and participate in sports-related activities (they tend to have an increased likelihood of experiencing injuries or chronic pain in the tendons) or are experiencing osteoarthritis. This procedure involves the drawing out of rich platelets using the patient’s own blood to help repair cartilage or tendon that may have been damaged. The procedure has shown success as far as helping to relieve the pain while expediting the healing process.
The procedure typically doesn’t take more than an hour. Following the drawing of the platelets, they are then placed in a centrifuge that helps pull apart the platelets. This process takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. Then, with the assistance of an ultrasound machine, the rich platelets are then injected into the tendon or cartilage that has been damaged.
PRP injection therapy treatment may vary on a case-by-case basis. Some patients may require only one injection while others may require more. That number is determined through the use of an MRI or an Ultrasound.
Following the completion of this procedure, patients are advised to rest up and follow that up with physical therapy during the course of the initial 6 weeks after the procedure. After 6-12 weeks pass by, patients are then re-examined during a follow-up appointment to determine how much improvement has taken place. The level of improvement may vary on a case-by-case basis. Patients who experienced more serious injuries before the procedure, may witness a slower pace of improvement than patients whose injuries were not that serious to begin with. In that case, those patients may require further injections to help achieve the desired outcome.
In some instances, patients may most likely undergo a period of physical therapy following the procedure to help build up strength while regaining their mobility and function. This may last for a period of approximately 12 weeks.
Generally, after about 3 months pass, patients can return to engaging in sports-related and other athletic-based activities.