PRP is an exciting treatment option to promote long-lasting healing of tendon, muscle, ligament, and joint injuries and arthritis. PRP’s popularity in healing sports injuries soared after Saito of the Dodgers, Tiger Woods, and other major league athletes reported that PRP helped them heal faster than traditional treatments and return to their game faster than expected. Recent evidence shows PRP to be better than steroids for lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow). It’s more effective than both steroids and visco-supplementation (like synvisc injections) for knee arthritis. To make it even more exciting, PRP is one of the most natural treatments we have.
PRP is your own blood plasma with concentrated platelets and growth factors vital for tissue repair and regeneration. When you injure yourself, platelets collect at the injury site, form a clot, and release proteins (growth factors or cytokines) that signal your stem cells to rebuild the injured tissues. By collecting these growth factors from your blood stream and injecting them into an area that needs to heal, we are stimulating this healing cascade and helping old and newer injuries heal faster and more effectively.
During an office visit for PRP, we collect 20-60cc of your blood from a vein, just as if you were having a blood draw for a lab. While you relax, we spin the blood in a centrifuge to separate and concentrate the platelets in the plasma, and then collect the platelet-rich plasma in a syringe, ready for injection. The process takes 15 minutes right in my Encinitas office.
Once we have the PRP, we inject it into the injured area after numbing the skin with anesthetic. Unlike many doctors in the San Diego area, we always use ultrasound to see the tendons and joints we’re injecting so that we can accurately target the injured tissue to maximize efficacy and minimize complications – most of the studies that show PRP to be effective were done with ultrasound guidance.
That’s it. A one hour appointment, total. Most patients will feel some soreness for about a week after the injection, which signals the inflammation and healing which is the aim of the procedure. Most feel the benefits 1-3 months after PRP. If you don’t have sufficient pain relief and healing after 1 procedure, it can be repeated and some need 2-3 treatments to achieve desired effects.
If you have tendinosis (rotator cuff tendinosis or partial tear, patellar tendinosis, golfer’s or tennis elbow, patellar tendinosis/jumper’s knee, etc), plantar fasciitis, chronic muscle or ligament issues, or arthritis, and wish to be considered for the procedure, call Dr. Bunyak for an appointment and we can talk in person.