What to Expect During Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment is a way to use the body’s natural healing powers to treat arthritis and other painful musculoskeletal conditions. It’s been used for osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder, hip, and spine as well as rotator cuff tears, ACL injury, back and neck injuries, and ligament sprains. 

Blood platelets, which secrete growth factors, can strengthen surrounding tissues, muscles, and ligaments. PRP treatment involves using a concentrated solution of platelets from the patient’s own blood. This means there is less risk of an allergic reaction and no risk of contracting a blood-borne infection from a donor.  

So what exactly happens during a PRP treatment? The whole process takes from 45 to 90 minutes and can be done in an outpatient clinic. You will be awake during the procedure, although you may be given some medicine to help you relax.

These are the basic steps:

  • The medical team will draw blood a small amount of blood from you—less than 2 ounces.
  • The blood will then be placed in a centrifuge, which will spin at high speed, separating the platelet-rich plasma from other parts of the blood. The fluid to be injected may have 2.5 to 9 times the concentration of platelets as in normal blood.
  • The doctor will then inject a small amount of this platelet-rich plasma into your affected joint capsule.
  • Next, they’ll clean and bandage the area and send you home with care instructions.

The area where you had the injection may be swollen and sore, and you’ll need to avoid putting strain on the joint for a few days. After that, we recommend physical therapy to help you strengthen and stretch the muscles around your joint. We also want to schedule follow-up visits to measure your pain levels.

If chronic pain is keeping you from doing the things you want, schedule an appointment at Southwest Spine and Pain Center. With multiple locations across the state of Utah, the pain management specialists at Southwest Spine and Pain Center are dedicated to helping those who suffer from chronic pain live the life they want to. To schedule an appointment, visit our locations tab.

The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.