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Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) treatment has been used by professional athletes such as Tiger Woods, Steph Curry, and Rafael Nadal (to name a few). As a form of regenerative medicine often sought instead of surgical intervention, PRP therapy hastens a quicker recovery and does not involve downtime.

But what exactly is PRP treatment?

At EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region, our board-certified physicians help patients Emerge Stronger. Healthier. Better, through the innovative, promising orthobiologic procedure of PRP therapy. Our experts are on hand to explain everything you need to know about PRP treatments, including how they can help encourage healing and return you safely to the sports and activities you treasure.

What Is PRP Treatment?

Both minimally-invasive and multi-faceted in its uses, PRP uses the body’s natural healing mechanisms to address many common orthopedic-related and sports injuries and conditions.

PRP involves extracting platelets from your blood. Your physician draws a small sample of blood, then places the test tube inside a centrifuge. The high-speed spinning of the centrifuge enables the high concentration of platelets to separate, making them five to ten times more potent.

Once these powerful growth factors have been separated from the sample, your physician injects them back into your body in or around the damaged area. The PRP triggers an inflammatory response that encourages the body to release cells to the affected area, potentially healing damaged tissues and reducing pain.

What Can PRP be Used For?

Many people wonder if PRP treatment is exclusively used for sports injuries. Actually, PRP has many uses, from providing several esthetic benefits to helping repair damaged tendons, ligaments, and muscles, as well as bone fractures. And PRP for osteoarthritis is also helpful in reducing pain and restoring mobility in the knee joint.

For orthopedic-related injuries, diseases, and conditions, physicians utilize PRP treatments for:

  • Achilles tendinopathy
  • ACL reconstruction
  • Cruciate ligament injuries
  • Fractures
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Patellar tendinosis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Shoulder osteoarthritis
  • Tennis elbow

Surgeons may also use PRP during certain surgical procedures to help encourage post-operative healing.

Does Insurance Cover PRP Therapy?

Currently, insurance carriers generally do not cover PRP therapy.

How Much Does PRP Therapy Cost?

The cost of PRP treatments varies depending on the injury or condition. The best way to receive an estimate is to schedule a consultation with an EmergeOrtho physician specializing in Regenerative Medicine.

How Many Treatments Are Required?

Typically, your physician will perform at least three PRP injections over six months. Treatments are usually spaced three weeks apart. Note that although your doctor may recommend more than one PRP injection, many patients feel relief from symptoms after the first or second treatment.

Woman of color holds her knee in pain awaiting PRP treatment at the orthopedic office.

How Long Does the Procedure Take?

The entire PRP therapy process can be done in the comfort of our qualifying EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region practices in a matter of one to two hours.

What Recovery Time Is Involved?

A significant benefit of PRP treatments is there is no downtime necessary during the healing process. After receiving PRP injections, our patients often immediately return to work or other activities.

What Results Can I Expect?

Research and clinical trials show promising results for many PRP treatment patients. This includes helping to relieve pain and allowing them to return to their favorite sports and activities. Additional research shows that many patients experience healing improvement in a few weeks following treatment.

Are PRP Treatments Safe?

Research is still in its infancy regarding the lasting effects of PRP treatments. Present studies conclude potential side effects may include skin irritation, pain or soreness at the injection site, blood clots from using a needle, and skin discoloration.

What Is Therapy with a Concentrate of Stem Cells?

Therapies using a high concentration of stem cells involve the harvesting of specific cells. They are most commonly extracted from the bone marrow of the hip. Once taken from your marrow, the cells are placed in a centrifuge. After spinning in the centrifuge, the bone marrow with concentrated stem cells are injected into or around the damaged tissue to help promote healing.

Combined, PRP and bone marrow with stem cell concentrates may improve tissue regeneration where advanced degeneration has occurred. This means that patients may experience a more rapid reduction in pain and return to sports and activities.

If you would like to learn more about PRP treatments and other orthobiologics, request a consultation now with one of our highly qualified and skilled EmergeOrtho—Triangle Region physicians.