Image of platelet rich plasma separated in tubes

Medical Arts Radiology is now offering pain management procedures in our locations, including platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and other injections.

What is PRP Therapy?

• Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy has been utilized for nearly two decades to treat degenerative joint disease and aid recovery from soft tissue injuries to tendons, muscles, and ligaments.

• By isolating growth-factor rich platelets from the patient’s blood and injecting this potent plasma into the site of injury, this therapy has shown promise in its ability to catalyze the growth of new tissue and promote healing.

• PRP therapy is associated with reduction in pain and faster healing, and has lower risks and lower costs than surgery.

What should I expect during this procedure?

• The entire procedure usually takes about one hour.

• To isolate PRP, a small amount of blood is taken and then placed in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins and concentrates the platelets in roughly 15 minutes. This concentrated PRP is then utilized for the procedure.

• After being positioned on the procedure table, the physician will use an antiseptic scrub to clean the site of the injection. Your skin and muscle tissue will then be numbed with the local anesthetic.

• Your physician will inject the PRP concentrate into the damaged tissue. Image guidance (fluoroscopy or ultrasound) may be used to visualize the affected area.

• At the end of the procedure, a small bandage will be placed on the injection site, and you will rest in a recovery area until you are ready to go home.

• Typically patients resume normal activity the next day; however you should consult with your physician for further instructions.

How is PRP Therapy administered?

PRP therapy is administered through an injection. After extracting one or more tubes of a patient's blood, the blood is spun using a centrifuge machine to isolate the PRP with growth factors and separate red blood cells from platelets that release proteins. After topical and injected local anesthetic is applied, the activated platelets are injected in the injured tissues. Depending on the injury, ultrasound may be used to help guide the injection.

Is PRP Therapy only for athletes?

No. Soft-tissue injuries, tendinitis and osteoarthritis affects everyone. PRP can help speed up healing, provide long-lasting benefits and save a trip to the operating room for many people.

"It's a better option for problems that do not have a great solution. It's nonsurgical and uses the body's own cells to help it heal," said Dr. Allan Mishra, an Assistant Professor of Orthopedics at Stanford University Medical Center to The New York Times.

What are some typical conditions treated with PRP?

Knee: Instability, partially strained or town ligaments of the knee (MCL, ACL, or LCL) chrondromalacia, meniscus tears, arthritis of the knee.

Shoulder: Rotator cuff tear, rotator cuff tendinitis, bursitis, bicipital tendinitis, instability, labrum tear, arthritis of the shoulder.

Hip: Bursitis, psoas tendinitis, lliotibial band tendinitis (ITB Syndrome), sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Ankle: Ankle sprain, ankle tendinitis, achilles tendonitis, perineal tendinitis, instability.

Elbow: Hand/Wrist: golfer's elbow, tennis elbow, trigger finger, finger tendonitis, arthritis of the elbow, hand or wrist.

Spine: Ligament sprain, rib conditions, whiplash injury, arthritis of the spine.

Are there any side effects to PRP Therapy?

Because the therapy uses a patient's own blood, there are typically no negative side effects. Most patients tolerate PRP therapy quite well, although some patients report post-injection soreness. There is a risk of blood vessel or nerve injury when PRP is administered without the guidance of ultrasound.

How long has PRP Therapy been in use?

PRP was first used more than 20 years ago to improve wound healing in cancer patients and in maxilla-facial and jaw reconstruction plastic surgery. PRP has been used for approximately 10 years in sports medicine. Its applications have also been extended to other fields of medicines including cardiovascular surgery and orthopedics.

How many treatments are needed?

The number of treatments depend on the severity of the injury. One to three treatments is average, although a fourth may be necessary. Treatments are typically spaced four to six weeks apart.

What is the success rate for PRP Therapy?

Platelet-rich plasma treatment has a success rate between 60 and 75 percent, and a reduced healing time of 25-30 percent, according to the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Is PRP Therapy appropriate for athletes?

Just ask Hines Ward, retired all-pro receiver of the Pittsburgh Steelers. When Hines suffered a badly sprained medial collateral ligament while playing in the AFC championship game, he received PRP therapy. Two weeks later he made two successful catches in the Super Bowl.

What is platelet-rich plasma (PRP)?

Platelet-rich plasma or PRP is an "autologous blood therapy" that uses a patient's own blood components to stimulate a healing response in damaged tissues. In response to an injure or tissue damage, your body naturally recruits platelets and white blood cells from the blood to initiate a healing response. Under normal conditions, platelets store numerous growth factors which are released in response to signals from the injured tissue. Modern technology allows us to concentrate platelets and white blood cells from your blood, and induce this growth factor release as we inject the solution directly into injured tissue, stimulating this same healing response in a more powerful form. By enhancing the body's natural healing capacity, the treatment may lead to a more rapid, more efficient, and more thorough restoration of the tissue to a healthy state.

What conditions can be treated with PRP?

• Knee Pain

• Tendon Injuries (Patellar Tendonitis, Quad Tendon)

• Muscle injuries

• Ligament sprains or tears (MCL, LCL)

• Bursitis

• Osteoarthritis

• Hip Pain

• Muscle pain or injury

• Pyriformis syndrome

• Greater Trochanteric Bursitis

• Tendon Injuries

• Sacroiliac joint pain

• Hamstring tendonitis or tears

• Osteoarthritis

• Shoulder and Arm Pain

• Bicipital Tendonitis

• Shin Splints

• Medial and Lateral epicondylitis (golfers and tennis elbow)

• Rotator Cuff tendonitis, tendonopathy or partial tears

• Lower Leg and Foot Pain

• Plantar Fasciitis

• Ulnar Collateral Ligament sprain or tear

• Peroneal tendonitis

• Ankle sprains/ligament injury

• Achilles tendonitis or partial tears

What treatment process can I expect?

Following a formal evaluation and diagnostic workup, an individualized treatment plan will be discussed with you. A full explanation of the procedure including risks and benefits will be reviewed. Once written consent is obtained, blood is drawn from your arm or from bone marrow aspiration in the back of your hip region, and placed in a special processing unit, which separates platelets, white blood cells and serum from red blood cells. The platelets and white blood cells (including stem cells) are then concentrated and collected into a sterile syringe. Some of the blood is used to create and "activator" of the PRP. The skin and soft tissue is anesthetized with local anesthetic, followed by injection of both the PRP and activator into the tissue, one or several needles are inserted to optimize placement of the product.

What treatment plan can I expect?

Depending on the severity and duration of your injury, one to three injections are suggested. Following the initial treatment with PRP, a follow up visit occurs 3-4 weeks later. At this visits an evaluation of your response to the initial therapy is performed and a decision is made regarding the need for additional PRP treatments. In general, chronic injuries often require more than one injection. In both acute and chronic injuries, injections may be combined with an exercise or physical therapy program to enhance the success of the treatment.

Are PRP injections safe?

Research and clinical data show that PRP injections are extremely safe, with minimal risk for any adverse reaction or complication. Because the injectable products are produced from your own blood, there is no concern for rejection or disease transmission. There is a small risk of infection from any injection into the body, but this is rare. Of note, recent research suggests that PRP may have an anti-bacterial property which protects against possible infection.

What can I expect after a PRP treatment?

Often, following the initial injection, an "achy" soreness is felt at the site of injury. This "soreness" is a positive sign that a healing response has been set in motion. This effect can last for several days and gradually decreases as healing and tissue repair occurs. It is important that anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, Naproxen and Aspirin be avoided following PRP treatments. There medicines may block the effects of the intended healing response facilitated by the injection itself. It is acceptable to use over the counter pain medication, such as Tylenol, and in some cases a prescribed analgesic, which does not have anti-inflammatory properties, to control discomfort as needed. Pain management options will be discussed with you by the physician managing your treatment plan. You will be permitted to resume normal day to day activities and light exercise following injection. We suggest that you avoid strenuous lifting or high level exercise for at least several day after injection.

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If your doctor refers you for a pain management procedure, be sure to request Medical Arts Radiology. To schedule an appointment, contact the Long Island imaging center nearest you or request an appointment online now.