What is PRP?
Platelet‐rich plasma (PRP) is a portion of your blood with high levels of platelets, which contain many important growth factors.
Who is a candidate for a PRP injection?
Patients experiencing chronic tendon injuries who have experienced pain for more than three months and have tried conservative treatments (rest, bracing, medications, physical therapy) may consider PRP injections. Examples of chronic tendon injuries include lateral epicondylosis (tennis elbow), medial epicondylosis (golfer's elbow), patellar tendinitis, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis.
How is the procedure performed?
The patient will first undergo a blood draw. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge separating the plasma‐rich platelet portion. This takes about 15 minutes. During this time, your physician will inject a small amount of anesthetic to numb the affected area. The PRP is then injected into and around the damaged tendon.
What do I do after the injection?
The patient is usually asked to rest the affected tendon for about a week. They will then initiate some stretching, followed by some gentle strengthening exercises. The patient can typically return to normal activities in roughly four weeks. Since the injection’s goal is to kick-start the healing process, it is important to not take anti‐inflammatory medications (Advil, Aleve, etc.) during the month after the injection. Inflammation is an important part of the early healing process. There can be moderate pain associated with the injection during the first few days, and your physician may provide you with a prescription for a pain medication. Tylenol is a good option for milder pain.
When should I expect to feel better?
Most individuals will notice improvement after the first month, with maximal improvement occurring after two or three months. Patients who note only partial relief from the injection may be candidates for a repeat injection approximately two months after the first injection.