After witnessing first-hand the remarkable results of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy that has been performed at New Jersey Pain Care Specialists, I want to address some of the negative press that is often quoted by those who deny or question the effectiveness of PRP.
One is a report that recently appeared in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. It featured a double-blind study on 90 professional athletes who had MRIs confirming hamstring injuries. The 90 were given either a Platelet Rich Plasma injection or an injection of plasma without platelets. None of the patients or doctors knew which injection was administered. The conclusion – reported all over the news – was that there was no difference in the results obtained by the two groups. That hamstrings given PRP healed at the same rate as those that did not get PRP.
The problem is a major protocol mistake in how the study was conducted, which led to inaccurate conclusions. After the injection of platelets, the athletes were started on physical therapy within 24 hours. Of course the PRP didn’t work! PRP is not an instant miracle. The platelets injected at the injury site need a chance to attract stem cells, which then speed up the healing process. For hamstrings, PRP patients are typically rested for one week before starting physical therapy. They can then be back in action in about three weeks, or even sooner, depending on the size of the hamstring tear.
At New Jersey Pain Care Specialists we have treated many athletic patients, both professional and amateur, who have resumed their activities much faster with PRP and a week’s rest.
As I’ve described in past blogs, PRP is a one-hour, non-invasive procedure performed in our medical offices by an experienced pain management physician. Essentially, a sample of your blood is drawn and spun down in a centrifuge machine to separate out and concentrate the platelets and growth factors for tissue healing. The PRP is then injected into the injured area.
Following PRP treatment, you go home the same day and can expect full recovery within a week. However, depending on the severity of your injury (e.g., a hamstring injury as I discussed above), it may require 3-4 treatments before the injured tissues are fully healed.
A personalized physical therapy program beginning in about a week will help your newly developed connective tissue mature into healthy and strong tendons – so you can get back in action as quickly and happily as possible.
Please contact us to discuss the possibilities without being misled by reports of studies that fail to follow the proper protocol for PRP success.
At the present time, PRP Treatments are not covered by medical insurance.