Platelet Rich Plasma FAQs

WHAT IS PLATELET RICH PLASMA (PRP) ?

Platelet-rich plasma (Abbreviation: PRP) is blood plasma that has been enriched with platelets. As a concentrated source of autologous platelets, PRP contains (and releases through degranulation) several different growth factors and other cytokines that stimulate healing of bone and soft tissue. 

Platelets are a specialized type of blood cell involved in injury healing.  Platelets also contain large reservoirs of natural growth factors that are essential for the cell recruitment and multiplication involved in wound healing.  The normal concentration of platelets circulating in our blood is 200,000 per microliter.  The platelet count in Platelet Rich Plasma should exceed 1,000,000 platelets per microliter which is a concentration of over 4x baseline.  PRP is made in the office using commercially available machines that take 15-20 minutes to concentrate the platelets after blood is drawn from the patient.

 

 

WHAT GROWTH FACTORS AND CYTOKINES ARE IN PRP?

Some of the growth and healing factors found in PRP include:

  • platelet derived growth factor (PDGF)
  • fibroblast growth factor (FGF)
  • vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)  
  • interleukin 8 (IL-8)
  • transforming growth factor beta (TGF-b)
  • insulin like growth factor 1, 2 (IGF-1,2)
  • epidermal growth factor (EGF)

     

 

WHAT ARE CLINICAL INDICATIONS FOR USING PRP?

Tedonitis (chronic tendonitis or partial-thickness tears)

  • rotator cuff
  • biceps
  • golfers/tennis elbow
  • tendonitis around the thigh (gluteus medius, hamstring, piriformis syndrome)
  • patellar or quadriceps tendonitis
  • tendonitis around the ankle (peroneal, tibialis posterior)
  • achilles
  • plantar fasciitis
  • ligament injury
  • ulnar collateral ligament injury of the elbow
  • medial collateral ligament injury of the knee
  • degenerative joint disease
  • hip osteoarthritis
  • knee
  • ankle
  • shoulder
  • elbow
  • wrist
  • symptomatic articular cartilage injury
  • fracture care
  • delayed union or nonunion fractures
 

WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER A PRP INJECTION IN THE OFFICE?

Depending on the specific area being treated, crutches or upper body immobilization may not necessary. If immobilization is necessary then typically it can be stopped after 2 days.  Most patients will have some soreness for up to 48 hours that should decreases.  Patients should not take aspirin or other NSAID medications after the procedure because they block the inflammatory response necessary for the procedures to help with healing. Patients can use Tylenol and other pain medications that don't block the inflammatory process.  Patients should refrain from significant physical activity or sports activities for about a week after the procedure.  Patients are re-evaluated about 6 weeks after the procedure to evaluate their progress and to make further treatment recommendations.

 

WHAT IS THE COST FOR PRP THERAPY?

In the United States most insurance plans and Medicare/Medicaid do not currently cover PRP therapy. Patients interested in having PRP therapy are responsible for the full payment for the procedure.

Our doctors do not want cost to be a factor for patients who wish to have PRP therapy and we have clinical specialists who can help with billing and payment concerns.  Please call 502-370-8001 for any questions on cost or payment plans.