Platelet Rich Plasma
PRP Injection Treatment
Tendons connect muscle to bone and ligaments connect bone to bone. We need these tendons and ligaments to maintain healthy, pain-free movement. Tendons and ligaments can become torn and or worn down, leading to pain and physical dysfunction. A PRP injection is an injection of platelets (which have a high concentration of growth factors) into a muscle, tendon or ligament tear to help the body start the natural healing.
If you are interested in learning more about platelet-rich plasma or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Adickes in Houston TX, contact our office today.
How Does a PRP Injection Work?
The blood is made up of many different parts: White blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Platelets can release multiple Growth Factors that can help recruit your natural healing response to help enhance tissue regeneration and heal the damaged tendon, ligament, and muscle.
A PRP injection is a procedure that is done in our office under MSK musculoskeletal ultrasound guidance. First, the damaged tissue is visualized under real-time ultrasound. Then a small amount of blood is taken from the patient and concentrated in our centrifuge to get about 500 times greater concentration of platelets. Finally, the platelet-rich plasma is injected directly into the tissue tear under real-time ultrasound guidance.
How is PRP made?
Creating PRP from your blood at Dr. Adickes’s is a simple, fast process. We draw some blood, similar to what would be taken for lab work. The blood is then placed into a centrifuge that separates the blood into platelet-poor plasma on top, platelet-rich plasma in the middle, and red blood cells on the bottom. The PRP has the least volume of the three separated sections. It is now rich with platelets, white blood cells, growth factors, and proteins.
What Ares of the Body Can You Treat with Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections?
You can potentially treat any part of the body that has a tear (muscle, tendon, and ligament) with a PRP injection. Some examples include shoulder pain, rotator cuff tears, shoulder osteoarthritis, knee pain, knee osteoarthritis, knee tendon tears, knee meniscus tear, foot pain, plantar fasciitis, hip pain, hip osteoarthritis, lower back pain.
Who is a good candidate for PRP injections?
Platelet-rich plasma has been used for over a decade by professional athletes to help them recover more quickly after injury or surgery. Research has shown PRP to significantly enhance the healing process for shoulder pain caused by rotator cuff tears, for Achilles tendon ruptures and strains, and for other soft-tissue injuries.
Dr. Adickes also uses PRP for patients suffering from tendonitis or chronic tendinosis in conditions such as tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow.
Most of our patients can benefit from these treatments. Side effects and rejection are almost unheard of because the platelet-rich plasma is made from the patient’s own blood, so the body accepts it. For patients seeking an alternative to anti-inflammatory medications or even stronger prescription pain medication, PRP can be an effective alternative or a way to reduce the medication necessary.
How is PRP Therapy performed?
Once Dr. Adickes has your PRP, the healing serum needs to be injected into the injured area. He is able to precisely target the PRP injections through the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound guidance. Moving the handpiece over the area of the injury, the damaged tissue is visualized in real-time. Dr. Adickes then injects the PRP directly into the injured tissue or joint. This instantly puts the growth factors, platelets, and white blood cells to work stimulating the body’s own natural healing mechanisms to repair the damage.
Are PRP injections painful?
There can be some pain involved with these injections. When injected into a joint, there is little or no pain. There can be some pain when injecting PRP into a tendon. Dr. Adickes can first numb the area with a local anesthetic, but there is some thinking that this can decrease the effectiveness of the PRP. Still, if you feel the need, we can do that.
These injections can cause temporary inflammation, pain, and swelling. This can be mitigated with the use of a cold compress for 10-20 minutes several times a day for the first day or two after your session. Avoid anti-inflammatory medication, however.
How long does a PRP session take?
Depending on where Dr. Adickes is injecting the PRP, the entire process from start to finish takes just 15-30 minutes.
How many PRP injection treatments will I need?
Many of our patients respond well to a single PRP treatment, feeling their pain is dramatically decreased. Others require two or three PRP injections into the injured area to experience the maximum amount of pain relief. After your first PRP session, Dr. Adickes will want to check on you in a few weeks to ascertain if you’ll need another session.
Are PRP treatments covered by insurance?
This depends on your carrier. Some insurance companies will cover PRP, especially for chronic pain such as tennis elbow. But this varies. We work with your insurance provider to get these covered, but many companies are resistant.
What Athletes Have Used PRP Injections?
PRP injections have been used by the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers, Super Bowl XLIII, Los Angeles Dodgers, Rutgers College, New York Mets, Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic, as well as by many other doctors and orthopedic surgeons.
Should I Stop Taking Medications Prior to My PRP Treatment?
Patients should try to be off NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, Naprosyn, etc) for about 1 week before a PRP injection. You can take Tylenol if you need.
How long do the effects of PRP Therapy last?
PRP treatment with Dr. Adickes offers our patients with a long-lasting, permanent solution that will not wear off over time, as with a traditional pain injection like cortisone. Once injected into the injured tendon, muscle, or joint, the growth factors and other healing components of PRP get to work healing the damage. This is a permanent repair. Of course, how each individual’s body responds can vary, but these are effective treatments.
Are There Any Alternatives to PRP Therapy?
Prolotherapy (“Proliferative Injection Therapy”) involves injecting an otherwise non-pharmacological and non-active irritant solution into the body, generally in the region of tendons or ligaments, for the purpose of strengthening weakened connective tissue and alleviating musculoskeletal pain. Studies have shown prolotherapy benefits people with chronic pain, as well as those with sports injuries.
Prolotherapy is often used as an alternative to invasive arthroscopic surgery. Contact our office to learn more.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Adickes provides patients in Houston TX with PRP injection treatment. Contact him at (713) 464-0077 or fill out a Contact Form here to schedule an appointment or to learn more about platelet-rich plasma.