Regenerative Medicine is the newest and most promising addition to Pain Medicine modalities for treating many types of chronic pain.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a tissue product that is injected into a painful and degenerative joint or soft tissue area that allows the body to “heal itself”.
“PRP” is a new buzz word on the list of favorable medical treatments and for good reason. It’s a natural product from the body that can help healing and tissue regeneration.
It’s essentially a “supercharged” version of your own blood and the factors in your own blood that allow healing to take place naturally.
The growth factors and other cytokines present in PRP include:
- platelet-derived growth factor
- transforming growth factor beta
- fibroblast growth factor
- insulin-like growth factor 1
- insulin-like growth factor 2
- vascular endothelial growth factor
- epidermal growth factor
- Interleukin 8
- keratinocyte growth factor
- connective tissue growth factor
This is the typical office procedure:
- The painful area is identified by physical exam and an x-ray or MRI or ultrasound shows a treatable abnormality.
- You come in to the office after not taking any aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications for 2 – 4 weeks.
- 50 cc of your blood is drawn and then combined with an anti-coagulant (to prevent clotting) and Calcium chloride (helps release the healing factors).
- The blood is then put into a centrifuge machine that will separate the red blood cells from the platelets and other helpful healing growth factors.
- The resulting product is about 5x more concentrated than the same amount of regular blood volume.
- The PRP is then injected into the painful area using sterile technique and ultrasound guidance.
- Pain relief may start as soon as the next day, but generally relief is seen over the next 2-4 weeks.
- The procedure may be repeated for maximum effect at monthly intervals–usually 3 injections provide the maximum benefit.
I’ve added platelet rich plasma injections to treatment options in my pain management practice with outstanding results.
There is minimal risk, virtually no side effects and much to gain with this treatment compared to others.
It is the ideal treatment for people who have severe pain and don’t want to undergo surgical procedures or can’t tolerate steroid injections as a treatment option.
Here is a noteworthy news article on the subject:
Call my office to make an appointment to see if you are a candidate for PRP as a treatment plan!