Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy uses your body’s own healing power to relieve pain and restore function in injured joints and soft tissue and help you heal from surgery.
At Maryland Orthopedic Specialists in Bethesda and Germantown, Maryland, our orthopedic specialists offer PRP therapy as a viable alternative to surgery.
You may like the idea of PRP therapy, but perhaps you’re wondering about the days immediately after your injections and the time it takes for you to experience very real changes in your pain and function.
Here’s what our specialists say to expect after PRP therapy and how it can help you.
PRP therapy involves drawing a sample of your blood in a conventional blood draw and then spinning this sample in a high-speed centrifuge, which separates the platelets from the red and white blood cells.
The platelets are then suspended in the plasma (the liquid part of your blood) to create the PRP, which we inject into your injured or damaged tissues.
Platelets are a component of your blood that contain numerous healing factors. Because PRP is just a concentrated form of your own blood, there’s no risk of rejection.
Sometimes, we use ultrasound to guide the correct placement of the injections.
You may have some soreness and tenderness at the area of the injections for a few days. This soreness and some swelling can last three to seven days, and then movement and comfort at the joint gradually increases over two weeks.
If you have a tendon, ligament, or muscle treated with PRP, you may feel sore a bit longer — more like seven to 10 days.
During the next two to six weeks, your body continues to heal itself. You don’t have to do anything special following PRP treatment, but you should pay attention to your body. If an activity or exercise causes pain, lighten up until you can tolerate the activity again.
Your body organizes the new tissue in the next six weeks to six months. This is when the treated areas become stronger, more resilient, and pain-free.
Because PRP therapy requires your body to heal itself, the most notable effects can take up to three or four months to appear. You’ll notice gradual improvements over this time.
If you’ve had a severe injury, healing from PRP therapy may take a longer. And if you have multiple soft tissue sites treated, it can also prolong healing. If we use PRP to help you heal after surgery, you’ll recover more quickly than you would without the injections.
Often, we combine PRP therapy with other treatments, like bracing and post-procedure physical therapy. This multifaceted approach helps you feel better faster.
To learn more about platelet-rich plasma therapy and how it can help your tendinitis, arthritis, or ligament tears, contact us at Maryland Orthopedic Specialists. Call our Bethesda or Germantown, Maryland, office or set up an appointment here to get a comprehensive evaluation.