You may be feeling a lot of excitement and anxiety leading up to your platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections. The thought of getting back to doing the things you enjoy without restrictions or pain can really lift your mood, but not knowing what to expect from the injections might have you a little on edge.
Dr. J. Michael Bennett, an expert orthopedic surgeon with offices in Houston and Sugar Land, Texas, wants you to feel comfortable and confident when you come in for your PRP treatment and wants you to know what to expect before you get started.
Is PRP for me?
When you’re in pain and not able to do the things you love because of an injury that just doesn’t seem to get better, you may find it hard to believe that your body has all it needs to mend your injury. Platelet-rich plasma is a product made from your own blood that concentrates all your body’s natural healing powers — platelets, specialized proteins, and growth factors — and when used for treatment, accelerates the healing process.
Dr. Bennett can determine if PRP is for you after a consultation. He uses PRP to treat a wide array of injuries, including:
- Torn rotator cuff
- Sprained ankle
- Tennis elbow
- Bone fractures
Athletes have used PRP treatments for years to help them recover faster and without the need for more extensive treatments, such as prolonged physical therapy or surgery. If you have an injury that’s not responding to traditional treatments, PRP may be something you need to consider.
Getting ready for PRP
PRP essentially stimulates an inflammatory response at the site of the injection, which is similar to what happens during an injury. To get the most benefits from your PRP injection, you need to stop all anti-inflammatories one week prior to your injections. Combining PRP with an anti-inflammatory may inhibit the healing potential of your PRP injections.
Making your PRP
Before your actual injection, we first need to create your PRP. We draw a sample of blood from your arm and place it in a special centrifuge that spins the blood to separate the liquid plasma from the platelet-rich portion. It can take up to 15 minutes to prepare your PRP, during which time your injured area is re-evaluated and the exact site of your injection is determined.
Before you receive your PRP injection, the area is numbed with a local anesthetic to ease any discomfort. The anesthetic won’t affect the healing powers of your PRP.
Then, the PRP is injected into your injured area. And that’s it! We have you rest for a bit to allow the platelets, specialized proteins, and growth factors to get to work and then we cover your injection site with a bandage.
It may take a few hours for the local anesthetic to wear off, which may affect your ability to use the treated body part. Once the anesthetic wears off, you may feel some discomfort at the injection site that may last up to 48 hours.
After the injection, we recommend you use ice packs to help control pain and swelling and continue to avoid use of anti-inflammatories. Depending on your injury and the site of the injection, you may need to rest the area for several days. Dr. Bennett may also recommend an exercise program to help restore function to the injured area.
The amount of time it takes for your injury to heal after your PRP injection varies, but don’t expect an instant improvement. It may take anywhere from one week to two months for your injury to heal. And in some cases, a second PRP injection may be necessary for a full and complete recovery.
PRP can give your body the biological boost it needs to heal. To learn more about the powers of PRP and how it can help you, call Dr. Bennett’s office today or book a consultation online.