Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

Looking for Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy for Orthopaedics in Northeast PA?

Mountain View Orthopaedics, with offices in Hazleton and Bloomsburg, PA, is now offering state-of-the-art Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy for our orthopaedic patients.

Therapeutic Injection of PRP

PRP is an abbreviation for Platelet Rich Plasma. Plasma is what’s left when blood cells are separated from the liquid component blood. The plasma portion contains numerous biologic factors that have been shown to enhance healing in tendons, muscles, bones, and cartilage.  PRP injection therapy is becoming increasingly popular as a treatment option because:

  • It contains entirely natural products from a patient’s own blood
  • Traditional treatments for tendonitis are unreliable
  • Repeated cortisone injections into tissue can destroy and weaken it
  • Cortisone injections into tendons of the lower extremity can lead to rupture of those tendons
  • Long term anti-inflammatory pills only mask symptoms and do not heal tissue and often cause gastrointestinal problems
  • There is little if any risk for injecting one’s own blood product back into their body

There can be no guarantees of success with PRP injections. Neither can there be any guarantee with cortisone injections, braces, physical therapy or surgery.  All these modes of treatment have costs. The future of medicine and orthopedics is increasingly looking to gene therapy and utilizing “biologic” solutions to treat common problems such as bone, ligament, cartilage and tendon healing.  In studies going on right now, the success rate for PRP injections seems to be better than traditional therapies with less risk than surgery. Surgery remains an option for patients who do not respond, and PRP injection does not become a contra- indicator for possible future surgery if patient continues to have disabling pain.

Diagram showing the platelet-rich plasma process.

Candidates for PRP injection

  • Adult patients who have long standing problems with tendonitis, acute muscle injuries, mild to moderate arthritis, or other conditions.
  • Patients who have failed previous treatment.
  • Patients who have the inability to tolerate oral anti-inflammatory medications due to medical problems or allergies.

Patient who are NOT candidates for PRP injection

  • Patients who are on blood thinners for medical problems such as history of blood clots or atrial fibrillation and are unable to stop their medication for PRP procedure. Not all blood thins will affect platelets, consult your physician.
  • Patients who are unable to remain off aspirin or other anti-inflammatory products before or after the procedure.
  • Patients who have had a cortisone injection in the affected area within the last two months.
  • Patients who have a low platelet count, active infection, or cancer.
  • Patients who are over 85 years old.
  • Patients with stage IV knee arthritis (severe arthritis)

The Procedure

The injection of PRP is an office-based procedure. 15cc’s of blood is drawn from the arm. It is then placed in a high-speed centrifuge and spun for 5 minutes to separate the blood components. The portion of the blood that contains the platelet rich plasma is drawn off into a syringe. The area to be injected is prepared using standard sterile technique. Anywhere from 3-5cc’s of the Platelet Rich Plasma is injected into the affected area. The entire procedure should take 15-30 minutes.  A protocol for aftercare should be followed for maximum benefit.  Follow up appointments will be at 4 weeks.

Insurance Coverage

At this time, the procedure is considered an “unlisted procedure” by insurance companies. Insurances do not typically cover unlisted procedure codes.  This procedure will be on a CASH ONLY basis.  The cost of the materials, procedure for procuring blood and injection are all included in a single price.  Formal physical therapy if needed, subsequent diagnostic studies, injections, medications or future surgery are NOT covered by the fee for this procedure. We will provide all documentation needed to help you obtain reimbursement through your insurance company if desired.  This may or may not be successful. You will be asked to sign an informed consent for the procedure as well as statement that you recognize this procedure to be a cash procedure.

Preparation for Injection

  1. Patients who have scheduled an injection should stop all anti-inflammatory medications for 1 week prior to injection. This includes; aspirin (regular), Advil, Aleve, Motrin (anything that contains ibuprofen), arthritis pills such as Celebrex, Naprosyn, Arthrotec, Mobic, etc.
  2. In addition, very high doses of some Vitamins and supplements can thin your blood and increase the chance of bruising. Avoid ginkgo biloba, green tea, ginger, and ginseng supplements for 1 week prior to injection
  3. Please notify your provider if you are taking Coumadin, Plavix, or any other blood thinners for a medical condition.

Patients should be prepared to take it easy for about 2-3 days after the injection. No strenuous exercise or activity to be done for 2-3 weeks. For elbow injections a sling may be worn for a few days for comfort.

After care following PRP Injection

  1. It is suggested to go home and not go back to work or do errands.
  2. Ice should be applied to the area of injection for about 20 minutes, 3X/day for the next 48 hours for pain relief.
  3. DO NOT TAKE anti-inflammatory medications for the next two weeks. Tylenol or Ultram is recommended if needed for discomfort.
  4. After 2-3 days, normal activities are allowed. Activity and work modifications will be discussed upon time of office examination pertaining to each patient.
  5. Pain in the area of injection is common. It usually resolves in the first few days.
  6. A follow up post procedure exam will be scheduled for about 4 weeks.