In recent years, the use of platelet rich plasma injections has gained significant media attention.
The technology has been used by high performance athletes who require rapid recovery from sports related injuries.
The process involves collecting the client's blood, removing and concentrating blood platelets (PRP) included in the sample, and injecting the PRP back into the client at the site of injury. The procedure is completed using ultrasound guidance.
When injected, growth factors contained in the PRP initiates the body's natural healing process.
Stimulation of the client's own healing response results in improvements in recovery time and improved function.
Common uses for PRP include rotator cuff tears, tennis elbow, achilles tendon injuries, and arthritic joints.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the procedure painful?
The injections do cause some discomfort. Most people will feel stiff for a 24-48 hours.
Discomfort can be managed with tylenol and/or robaxacet. ADVIL/IBUPROFEN/ MOTRIN, ASPRIN/ASA, and CELEBREX may also be used. Additional non-opioid pain medication can also be provided.
How many treatments will I need?
While some clients may only require one treatment, others may require up to three.
Treatments are completed approximately 1 month apart. For optimal results, clients are encouraged to continue with physiotherapy over the course of their treatments.
Are there any risks?
Complications from injecting extremity joints are extremely rare. These include skin infections and allergic reactions.
While extremely rare, complications from injections into the upper spine can include entry into the spinal canal and the possibility of puncturing the lung. The use of ultrasound to guide each injection significantly reduces the risk of any complications.
You will be assessed by a senior physiotherapist before receiving treatment. This is to ensure that you experience the best possible outcome.
What are the costs?
PRP is not covered by Alberta Health. However, some private insurance plans may cover the cost.
What should I wear?
You will need to disrobe sufficiently to expose the area requiring treatment. A hospital gown is available if required.
Your level of activity will be dependent on your level of comfort. We recommend that you stay as active as possible without aggravating any symptoms of discomfort.