Is PRP Right for Me?

May 05, 2023
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Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a treatment increasingly offered by medical practices to aid healing. It sounds good, but is it right for you? Read on to see whether you’re a good candidate for PRP.

You may have heard or seen references to PRP. It stands for platelet-rich plasma, a solution derived from your blood that’s injected into injured soft tissue or a joint to help relieve pain, calm inflammation, and heal your injury faster than traditional treatments.

One of the first uses of PRP was to hasten healing after surgery. Today, Scottsdale Hip and Knee and many other orthopedic practices recommend PRP to aid the healing of soft tissue injuries and osteoarthritis in joints such as the knees.

Are you a good candidate for PRP? 

PRP may be right for some patients and not for others. It’s important to speak with your provider to see if this treatment option suits you. 

At Scottsdale Hip and Knee, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ben Albert reviews your medical history and the results of any testing to determine if PRP can benefit you. If you have cancer, an infection, a blood-related illness, or a compromised immune system, PRP may not work for you. 

On the other hand, if you’re in good general health, Dr. Albert may recommend PRP to aid in faster healing of your injury. Many professional athletes have used PRP to get back to their sports faster than they could with only conventional treatments. 

Of course, PRP is one of several modalities to accelerate healing, and in many cases, it’s not a stand-alone treatment. Physical therapy, for example, may be part of your treatment plan. 

How does platelet-rich plasma work? 

At your appointment, a staff member takes a blood sample from your arm. The sample is then placed into a machine (centrifuge) that concentrates your blood platelets. The platelet-rich plasma is then injected into the targeted site using ultrasound guidance. 

Platelets are cell fragments that help clot your blood when you’re injured. They help recruit and multiply cells needed for healing. This large mass of platelets contains growth factors that rush nutrients to the site of your injury and promote cell repair. 

Is PRP effective?

There aren’t enough large clinical studies on humans to prove the efficacy of the treatment yet. But research suggests that PRP can ease knee osteoarthritis and help heal knee injuries. 

PRP doesn’t involve drugs or foreign substances. It uses your own blood, so it’s considered a low-risk procedure. 

Benefits of PRP 

PRP has many advantages. It can be used in conjunction with other orthopedic treatments. Little recovery time is involved. It’s safe. No anesthesia is involved. You may be able to postpone or avoid surgery altogether if it works well for you. 

For prompt diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions or to learn how PRP can help you heal, call Scottsdale Hip and Knee in Scottsdale, Arizona, or book your appointment online today.