This form of treatment can be performed in a physicians clinic or an outpatient surgery setting. The process begins when a health care professional (usually a nurse) draws a certain amount of blood from a vein in your arm. The amount of blood taken is dependent upon what injury is being treated. Generally 20-60ml’s of whole blood is drawn into a syringe. A nurse, doctor, or perfusionist will then place your blood into a special sterile container. This container is specifically designed to fit into a machine called a centrifuge. The centrifuge is responsible for creating platelet rich plasma (prp). Once the sterile container holding your blood is placed in the centrifuge, the nurse or perfusionist can start the machine. The centrifuge is designed to spin your blood at extremely high speeds to separate the components of your blood. The entire “spinning” process will take about 15 minutes, depending on which prp centrifuge your doctor decides to utilize. When the machine stops spinning, the health care professional can open the centrifuge and take out the container that holds the newly created platelet rich plasma. Approximately 4-10ml’s of prp has been created depending on which prp system was used. Platelets contain amy growth factors that can aid in tissue healing and regeneration. The prp is then extracted from the container using a special syringe and placed on a sterile field. The prp is now ready to be injected to the injury site.
Before the prp is injected, your doctor will prepare the site using alcohol or betadyne. He will also anesthetize the skin and subcutaneous tissue to make the procedure a bit more comfortable for you. Your doctor will use an ultrasound machine to make sure he/she is injecting the prp to the appropriate injury site. You may have to rest 15-20 minutes after the injection is completed.
Your doctor will most likely not allow you to move your affected injury site for at least 24 hours post injection. You may also experience mild pain a few days after your treatment as the anesthesia wears off.
You may apply ice as needed on the injection site. Ice can be applied for 15 minutes every 2-3 hours. Your doctor may recommend that you not take any anti inflammatory medications because it may interfere with the normal healing process. Physical therapy can begin at the recommendation of your physician.