Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)

Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection

An injection of platelet-rich plasma is an experimental technique that your MJRI doctor may discuss using as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. The injection consists of a natural substance called platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the knee that may help injured tissue heal more quickly. Platelet-rich plasma comprises blood cells called platelets that are taken from your blood. Platelets help tissues heal after an injury by releasing substances called growth factors that stimulate healing.

In this procedure, a doctor takes a small amount of your blood from a vein in your arm and uses a machine called a centrifuge to separate the platelets and growth factors from other blood components. This process takes about 15 minutes. A doctor injects this platelet-rich liquid, plasma, into the knee joint. Our doctors use ultrasound guidance to ensure precision.

People often experience pain relief and improved function within two to six weeks.

What to Expect After PRP 

Doctors recommend avoiding anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen for four to six weeks after a therapeutic injection with stem cells or platelet-rich plasma while the injury heals. This is because injections of biological material stimulate the body’s inflammatory response, an important part of healing. If the injection site is sore or swollen days after treatment, doctors recommend taking over-the-counter acetaminophen and applying an ice pack for 15 minutes at a time, three times a day.

You should also avoid strenuous activities, such as using the knee for four weeks after injection to give the injured tissue time to heal. Your doctor may provide a boot to immobile your foot and leg. All weight should be kept off the knee for two days, and your doctor can provide you with crutches to help you move around without putting weight on the joint. The boot should be worn for two to three weeks.

Your doctor schedules a follow-up appointment after three or four weeks to evaluate the healing process. Depending on the extent of the injury, your doctor may recommend an additional platelet-rich plasma injection.

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