Northeast Knee and Joint Institute has had patients come to our offices to receive platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections as part of their treatment plan. When combined with our osteoarthritis Knee Relief Program, PRP has been shown to drastically increase the joint’s ability to recover. Because PRP uses the patient’s own blood, the risk of infection is very minimal. Plus, the regenerative properties of the platelets are targeted towards the injury site. That helps to speed up the recovery process by addressing the injury directly, and PRP offers long-term healing benefits.
Our PRP Therapy has attracted patients from throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania and the tri-state area. Why? Because it really works! PRP is a safe and effective approach to healing using your own blood. And it can eliminate the need for surgery!
The PRP Process
Platelet-rich plasma involves taking a small sample of blood and spinning it in a centrifuge to concentrate and separate the platelets and plasma from the other components of your blood. This concentrated solution is then injected back into the body at the injury site.
But WHY does PRP work?
Platelets are the part of the blood that contain growth factors and proteins. These are very important in the repair and regeneration of damaged tissue. PRP Therapy works by accelerating the body’s own healing process. They address the injury site by encouraging the growth of new, healthy cells.
What injuries can PRP help?
There are many ways that PRP can safely and effectively treat many ailments or injuries. Weakened ligaments and tendons cause the majority of the pain and damage related to joints. Some of the most common injuries that have benefitted from our PRP Therapy are:
- Osteoarthritis of the major joints (knee, shoulder, hip, and spine)
- Rotator cuff strains and tears
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries
- Pelvic pain and instability
- Back and neck injuries or pain
- Tendonosis (Tennis Elbow)
- Tendonitis and ligament sprains
- Chronic knee pain (arthritis or injury)
- Muscle strains
Our plasma treatments strengthen these weak tissues, leading to improved joint and muscle functions with significantly less pain.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the PRP Process.
In a previous blog, we provided an overview of the PRP Process. This outlines what protocols you can expect prior to and after your treatment, as well as how the procedure is performed. Depending on your particular injury, one to multiple sessions of platelet-rich plasma may be required. We work with our patients to create an ideal plan for each individual to provide the best chance of a successful outcome.
PRP: Pre-Procedure Guidelines
Prior to your PRP Therapy session, our physician will discuss what to expect during your treatment. However, it is helpful to remember that there are a few things to take into consideration before your session:
- At least three to four days before your procedure, discontinue anti-inflammatory medications
- One to two weeks before your procedure, discontinue any blood thinning herbs, supplements, or vitamins
- One to two weeks before your procedure, discontinue systematic steroids
- At least one month before your procedure, discontinue steroid injections
- On the day of your procedure, eat a full, healthy breakfast and be sure to drink plenty of water
Please be advised that if you take chronic oral steroids, a discontinuation plan will need to be discussed with your primary care provider as abrupt stoppage may cause side effects. Northeast Knee and Joint Institute does not advise stopping or taking any medication regimens without first consulting the doctor that prescribed them to you.
PRP: Post-Procedure Guidelines
After your PRP Therapy session, we recommend that all patients rest on the day of their procedure. For the next 2 days, we advise limited use of the injection area, but movement is encouraged. This helps the joint recover as the injection is absorbed by the area’s surrounding tissues.
0 – 3 days post-procedure guidelines.
After your treatment, there is a chance you’ll experience some mild to moderate pain or discomfort at the injection site. This is normal, and it is a sign that your body is healing as it adjusts to the injection. It is best to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water to help promote healing.
It is critical that you DO NOT take ANY medications following your procedure unless specifically directed otherwise by a physician. This is because any medication can affect the healing process or other adverse effects.
Therefore, discontinue use of any of these medications post-procedure for best results:
- Anti-inflammatory medications for at least 2 weeks post-procedure
- Blood-thinning herbs, supplements, or vitamins for 3-4 days post-procedure
- Systematic steroids for 2 weeks post-procedure
Other important guidelines to follow after your PRP procedure are:
- Avoid applying ice or heat to the injection site for the first 72 hours post-procedure
- Don’t take a hot bath or go to a sauna for the first few days post-procedure
- Avoid consumption of any alcoholic beverages for the first week post-procedure
- Avoid showering for the first 24 hours following your procedure
- Limit caffeine consumption for the first week post-procedure
- Avoid smoking
3 – 14 days post-procedure guidelines.
At this point in your healing, you should gradually increase your daily activities. This is also when you can begin exercises. Proper exercise is a vital part of long-term results, and we can help you determine which exercises are best suited for your needs prior to your procedure.
- Ice can be applied 3-4 times a day for 15-20 minutes as needed for comfort
- Anti-inflammatory medications (such as Tylenol) can be taken to help manage any residual pain at this time, take as directed
- Continue to avoid alcoholic beverages, smoking, or excessive amounts of caffeine
3 – 4 weeks post-procedure guidelines.
At this point in your healing, we highly encourage you to begin physical therapy to aid in your long-term healing and continued recovery. During a follow-up appointment will be made for you to meet with our physician to review your healing process. It is important that you keep this follow up visit even if your recovery is going well. If there are any adjustments to your customized treatment plan, this is when our physician will be able to make those decisions.
The road to recovery starts at Northeast Knee and Joint Institute!
The road to your recovery is just as important to us as it is to you! Therefore, if you have any questions along the way, it would be our pleasure to discuss them with you. We look forward to working with you on your journey to improved health.
Additional resources: PRP pre-procedure and post-procedure guidelines.
If you are looking for additional resources, you can review and save our Pre-Procedure Guidelines, Post-Procedure Guidelines, or both and print them for your own records. And we encourage you to call our office with any questions or concerns you would have regarding your PRP treatment.