Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is an exciting new treatment that relieves pain and promotes long-lasting healing of musculoskeletal conditions. Our doctors offer this amazing noninvasive procedure right here at South Palm Orthopedics.
PRP therapy is a cutting-edge procedure that is revolutionizing the field of orthopedic medicine. PRP therapy uses components of the body's own blood cells to formulate a customized "cocktail" that stimulates the natural healing process in certain orthopedic conditions.
The body's first response to any soft tissue injury is to deliver platelet cells, which jump-start the repair process and attract the essential aid of growth factors. PRP therapy's natural healing process magnifies the body's efforts by delivering a higher concentration of platelets through a simple injection.
PRP therapy is associated with a reduction in pain and faster healing, and it has lower risks and lower costs than surgery.
Learn more about PRP therapy below.
What Does PRP Therapy Treat?
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a rapidly emerging technique that is showing exciting potential with osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder, hip, and spine. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative bone disease causing loss of mobility, chronic pain, and stiffness and can be quite debilitating for more than 21 million Americans.
PRP therapy is also showing promising results in rotator cuff tears, chronic plantar fasciitis, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, tennis elbow, ankle sprains, tendonitis, and ligament sprains.
What Are the Benefits of PRP Therapy?
A main benefit of PRP therapy is that it provides pain relief and healing and can eliminate the need for surgery and prolonged recovery. It may also be used as a treatment for some people who are not candidates for surgery.
PRP therapy is a low-risk noninvasive procedure. It uses the body's own cells and natural biological healing process. The concentrated platelet-rich plasma (PRP) that is injected into and around the point of injury jump-starts and significantly strengthens the body's natural healing process.
Recovery with PRP therapy is much faster than with surgery, often by many months. Because your own blood is used, there is no risk of a transmissible infection and a very low risk of allergic reaction.
Does Insurance Cover PRP Therapy?
Insurance does not yet cover PRP therapy. You may pay for injections by check or credit card. In many cases, the treatment avoids costly surgeries with lengthy recoveries, so the cost-benefits are very high. Please call our office at if you have questions.
PRP injections are a much simpler procedure than surgery. PRP injections are short outpatient procedures. To complete PRP therapy, a small sample of your blood is drawn (similar to a lab test sample) and the blood is then spun at high speeds, separating the platelets from the other components. The concentrated platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is then injected into and around the point of injury. No stitches are necessary since just a needle was used.
The procedure takes approximately 20 minutes. Performed safely in our office, PRP therapy relieves pain without the risks of surgery, general anesthesia, or hospital stays and without a prolonged recovery. In fact, most people return to their jobs or usual activities right after the procedure.
Up to three injections may be given within a six-month time frame, usually performed two to three weeks apart. You may, however, gain considerable to complete relief after the first or second injection.
The goal of PRP therapy is to resolve pain through healing and could prove to have lasting results. Initial improvement may be seen within a few weeks, gradually increasing as the healing progresses. Research studies have shown PRP therapy to be effective at relieving pain and returning patients to their normal activities and daily lives.
Both ultrasound and MRI images have shown definitive tissue repair after PRP therapy, confirming the healing process. The need for surgery can also be greatly reduced by treating injured tissues before the damage progresses and the condition is irreversible.
PRP History and Current Studies
News headlines have featured the amazing results that professional athletes have experienced with PRP therapy.
Pro football players Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers received PRP therapy after injuries that should have sidelined them for months, and they returned to play in a matter of weeks, winning the Super Bowl.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Takashi Saito received PRP therapy for an elbow condition and returned to play in just a few months, versus up to 14 months that recovery from surgery would have taken.
Unprecedented results have also been reported for other professional soccer, baseball, and football players. While PRP therapy is just beginning to become mainstream news, it actually has been around for quite some time.
Although PRP therapy is relatively new to the field of orthopedics, it has been used for more than 20 years in dentistry. PRP therapy has been used to promote healing following jaw reconstruction for patients with cancer.
Its use has expanded to other medical specialties, including cardiovascular surgery, sports medicine, urology, cosmetic surgery, dentistry, and ophthalmology.
These studies show that recovery time is quicker, and the risks are lower with PRP therapy. Researchers are now focused on its use in musculoskeletal injuries.
In the field of orthopedics, PRP therapy has been studied for use in the joints, spine, bone, and tendons. Because the studies have used a small number of participants, larger studies are necessary before the results can be generalized. Researchers are optimistic that after future studies, insurance will cover the procedure, and some speculate that the procedure may become a protocol before surgical treatment.
PRP Therapy in Boynton Beach / Delray Beach / Boca Raton, Florida
Want to learn more about platelet-rich plasma therapy and find out if it's right for you? Call use our online form to request a consultation with one of our doctors. South Palm Orthopedics serves patients in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Wellington, Lake Worth, and Palm Beach.
What is an ultrasound?
An ultrasound is a common imaging technique that employs high frequency sound waves to create images of organs and other internal structures of the body. These images provide valuable information of underlying pathology of the tissues and assists with diagnosis and planning the treatment of a condition. Ultrasound provides a clear view of the organs, tendons, muscles or joints and any associated disorders.
What is an Ultrasound-guided Injection?
An ultrasound-guided injection is a minimally invasive procedure used for:
- Treating various painful musculoskeletal conditions such as tendonitis, bursitis and neuritis
- To perform cyst aspiration
- Tool for guiding the placement of needles for both diagnostic as well as therapeutic purposes
Injection of a pain medication in combination with a local anesthetic directly to the site of injury helps to relieve pain. The advanced imaging of the ultrasound provides high resolution images that enable your physician to precisely locate the injections deep into the target tissue without harming surrounding tissues.
Advantages of Shoulder Injections
The advantages of ultrasound imaging compared to other imaging techniques include the following:
- No patient exposure to ionizing radiation
- Able to assess tendons, ligaments and muscles under high resolution
- Provides direct visualization of the area being treated
- Ensures accurate placement of the needle to targeted areas
Indications of Shoulder Injections
The indications for diagnostic ultrasound imaging technique include the following:
- To diagnose conditions such as tendon/ligament tears, inflamed bursa, joint fluid and cysts
- To assess painful pops and snaps that occur during movement
- To deliver diagnostic injections to specific targets including joints and tendon sheaths or bursa
- To help guide needle placement during needle aspirations or injections for patients with challenging anatomical variations or people taking blood-thinning medications
- In aspiration of a ganglion cyst
- To guide needles in percutaneous therapy for the treatment of calcific tendonitis
Shoulder Joint Injection Technique
The procedure is used for diagnostic as well as therapeutic purposes. Anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids and hyaluronans are the most commonly used medications to relieve pain, inflammation and swelling or to stimulate synovial fluid production to improve lubrication.
Shoulder joint injections are commonly used for certain conditions such as osteoarthritis, frozen shoulder, or tendonitis. The administration of the injection to the shoulder joint depends upon the condition to be treated. The approach for application of the injection may be anterior, posterior, superior or inferior aspect of the joint.
During an ultrasound-guided injection, the patient will be asked to lie or sit down on a table depending on the site of the injection. A clear water based conducting gel is applied over the skin to assist with transmission of the sound waves. The doctor moves a hand-held probe, called a transducer, over the targeted area. The transducer emits sound waves and detects the rebound echoes from the tissue. Images are created from these sound waves and can be viewed on the video display screen attached to the scanner. The waves provide a clear view of the targeted area and help the doctor locate the correct site for injection.