When you’re struggling to get back to your active lifestyle because of an injury or pain condition, you might be willing to try anything. In your search for treatment options, you may come across information about platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and wonder: Is it right for me?
At Orthopedic & Wellness, our experienced physicians — Dr. Ojedapo Ojeyemi and Dr. Matthew Roh — offer many innovative treatments to help patients get back to doing what they love. Here, we explain what PRP is and when we use it so you can decide if PRP might be a good option for you.
PRP is a blood product that consists of plasma and platelets. Plasma is the liquid portion of your blood, and platelets are tiny blood cells that most people associate with blood clotting.
Yes, platelets band together when you have an injury to stop your cut from bleeding, but that’s not the only role they play. Platelets also contain growth factors that support the healing process by triggering cell production and tissue regeneration to repair damage.
Although platelets naturally circulate in your blood, PRP contains a higher concentration of these healing cells. We create PRP from a sample of your own blood and inject cells directly into the damaged or diseased area of your body. By increasing the supply of platelets and growth factors to that tissue, it can stimulate or accelerate the healing process.
PRP benefits many orthopedic conditions. We use these innovative injections to treat injuries and diseases that affect the musculoskeletal system, including:
Our orthopedic surgeon may also suggest PRP following a surgical procedure to enhance healing and speed up your recovery.
If you have knee pain or shoulder pain, an acute injury or chronic joint condition, PRP might be right for you.
However, we may not recommend PRP until you’ve tried other less invasive treatments, such as oral anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy. When these medical interventions fail to get you the results you expect, we may suggest PRP.
Because we use your own blood for your PRP injections, the risk of an allergic reaction is minimal. This means a PRP injection is less risky than a corticosteroid injection.
While PRP comes with less risk than other types of injections, results take time. In fact, your pain and swelling may get worse before they get better. PRP initiates your body’s inflammatory response, and pain and swelling are part of the healing process.
You may start to notice improvements in pain and function about three weeks after your injection, with continued improvements over the next several weeks. Depending on your need, we may recommend a series of PRP injections so you gain the most benefits.
To learn more about PRP and to determine if it’s right for you, call our office — we have three convenient locations: in Frederick, Waldorf, and Germantown, Maryland — or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment today.