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What is a PRP Injection [PRP injection review & PRP injection near me]

What is a PRP injection: We go over PRP injection reviews, PRP injections recovery time & effectiveness as well as PRP injection side effects!

doctors who perform prp injections near me

PRP Injection Cost (How Much Are PRP Injections?) (How Much Do PRP Injections Cost?

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, most insurance plans do not cover PRP injections. Therefore, most of the costs will be paid out of your pocket.

PRP injections costs vary according to your location and the use of the injections.
For example, in 2013, PRP treatments for hair loss cost $900 for a single session and $2,500 for three treatment sessions in San Francisco.

In 2014, the Washington Post reported that PRP injections for the knees could cost between $500 and $1,200 per treatment session.

PRP injections for insurance companies are experimental treatments. Therefore, more studies and research is required before covering them completely under insurance.

What Is a PRP Injection?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is formed of two main elements, which are plasma and platelets. The plasma is the liquid portion of our blood and the largest part, while the platelets are small, colorless cell fragments in our blood that form clots and stop, prevent bleeding, and play a major role in the healing process in the body.

In addition, the platelets contain growth factors, which stimulate cell reproduction, tissue regeneration, and healing in injured areas.

PRP refers to blood that has more platelets than usual. It is created by taking a blood sample from the person and put it into a centrifuge. The centrifuge is a device that spins rapidly to separate the blood components from the platelets and increase their concentration in the plasma.

After making PRP, it is injected into the injured area, such as the knee or a tendon. In certain conditions, the doctor may use an ultrasound-guided procedure.

The main concept of PRP is increasing the concentration of growth factors in the target area to stimulate the healing process.

The PRP mechanism of action is not completely clear. However, many studies show that increasing the concentration of growth factors in an injured area can accelerate the healing process, reduce pain, and even stimulate hair growth in certain cases.

PRP Injections Near Me:

Many doctors can perform PRP injections, and nearly all of them can develop a good treatment plan for their patients.

On the other hand, if you have a skeletal system problem, it is better to go to an orthopedic surgeon and not a dermatologist, for example, since the former has the necessary experience and knowledge to deal with your problem and develop the best treatment plan for you.

Also, they know the exact location where PRP must be administered. For example, if you have a knee problem and PRP is recommended, your orthopedic surgeon will be sure of the correct place where the injection should be. Besides, they have the proper knowledge to follow up and modify the treatment plan according to the joint condition.

PRP injections have been gaining more popularity recently, and that is why many doctors are implementing them into their clinics, even though they are specialized in other forms of medicine. It is important to know that even if a dermatologist or an internal medicine doctor has some training in the orthopedic field, it is not their specialty, and they do not have the proper experience in joint, muscle, and bone disorders.

Also, family doctors are not supposed to specialize in PRP therapy without the proper training.

In a nutshell, if you are searching for the best PRP injections near you, look for a specialized doctor. If your knees are the problem, go to an orthopedic doctor. If it is your hair, find a dermatologist.

PRP Injection Recovery Time:

The PRP injection recovery time is short. After a few days of soreness, the pain will reduce, and your condition will start improving over time.

Generally, recovery time for all PRP injections takes between 4 to 6 weeks. However, musculoskeletal problems, such as joint problems or injuries, can take more than six weeks, while cosmetic PRP treatments usually take less than four weeks. The recovery time varies according to the severity of the injury, the purpose of the treatment, and the PRP treatment plan itself.

  • Joints: PRP injections recovery time for joints and arthritis treatment usually last between 3 to 7 days of soreness and maybe swelling. Patients notice a gradual improvement over the next few weeks.
  • Tendons and Ligaments: PRP injections recovery time for tendons is usually longer, and it can take up to 3 to 4 months before noticing actual improvements.
    The first 1 to 2 weeks for ligaments are usually amazing because the loose ligaments become swollen, increasing their stability and improving pain. However, when the swelling starts going away, the pain and instability return. The actual improvements may take 3 to 4 months to be noticed.
  • Face: PRP injection recovery time for the face usually takes 2 to 4 weeks according to many factors such as the treatment you have, age, skin condition, and the treatment response. Most patients take two weeks for complete recovery.
  • Hair: PRP injection recovery time takes about 3 to 4 weeks, depending on many factors such as age, environmental conditions, genetics, and lifestyle.

Within three weeks, patients can return to their normal hair routines.

PRP Injection Reviews:

PRP injections do not work for everybody, and like most treatments, they do not offer a 100% reduction in pain for every patient. However, it can be used as part of larger treatment plans to manage certain conditions.

A large study was done on 230 patients suffering from painful tennis elbow (lateral epicondylar tendinopathy) for 24 weeks. They were treated with either PRP injections or traditional treatments.

At the end of the study, 84% of the patients treated with PRP injections reported that their pain was reduced by about 25%, while 68.3% of the other group reported the same results.

Another study was done on 99 different tendon problems treated with either PRP injections or autologous blood injections.

The tendon problems included many chronic tendinopathies cases such as tennis elbow, jumper’s knees, high hamstring tendinosis, Achilles tendinosis, and plantar fasciitis. Most study participants had been suffering from symptoms for about three years before trying PRP injections. After PRP, most patients reported that their pain level decreased, and half of them reported that they improved completely.

In conclusion, most PRP injection reviews are positive. However, the success of the treatment depends on many factors, including the doctor’s experience, how and where PRP is injected, and the severity of the condition.

PRP Injection Side Effects:

PRP therapy is generally safe. However, there can be some side effects, including:

  • Pain in the Target Area

Some patients reported that there is acute pain or soreness at the site of injection. In certain cases, the pain might be felt deep in the injured area when it originates from the muscle or bone.

  • Infection:

Before PRP therapy, many precautions are taken before injecting the target area with the PRP serum. Intense sterilization procedures are usually followed strictly to prevent any infection. However, in some cases, an infection can find its way into the injured area.

  • No Improvement After PRP Therapy:

This is not a side effect, but it is worth mentioning that not every patient responds to PRP therapy. Some patients report that the same pain and soreness remain and may even become worse over time. Most of these patients report that they experience a period of pain relief after PRP injections.

  • Allergic Reaction:

Some patients have bodies that reject their PRP serum and may suffer from allergic reactions due to the treatment. It is very rare, but it is reported.
More studies are needed to understand this side effect.

  • Blood Clot:

Blood clots are formed when damage occurs to a blood vessel lining, such as a cut. PRP injections are performed using ultra-sound guided needles, but there is a chance that a blood vessel gets injured. If a blood clot is formed, it can be treated like other regular blood clots.

  • Skin Discoloration:

In most cases, the skin around the injection sites will be bruised, which is normal. However, if you do not have a history of bruising, you do not bruise easily, or the bruise is deep, dark, and looks unusual, call your doctor immediately.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experienced any of the previous side effects after getting a PRP injection.

  1. Precautions After PRP Injection:

After getting a PRP injection, you should rest completely on the procedure day. Also, the area where the PRP is injected should not be used excessively for the following two days. Moving the injured area smoothly and easily, especially if it is a joint, is recommended to let the injured area and its surrounding tissues absorb the PRP solution.

  • 0 – 3 Days After the Procedure:

After the PRP session, you will experience mild to moderate discomfort or pain where the PRP has been injected, which is normal and a good sign that your body is reacting and adjusting to the treatment while healing. Drink a lot of water and stay hydrated all the time to help enhance the healing process.

You should not take any medications after the procedure unless prescribed by your doctor since medications can cause adverse effects and inhibit the healing process.

The following medications should be discontinued after the procedure to get the best out of your PRP therapy:

  • Anti-inflammatory medications for about 14 days after the procedure.
  • Vitamins, supplements, or herbs for about 4 to 5 days after the procedure.
  • Systematic steroids for about 14 days after the procedure.

In addition, try to apply the followings tips after the PRP procedure for the best results:

  • Do not apply ice or heat to the injection site for the first three days after the procedure.
  • Avoid taking hot baths or going to a sauna for the first 5 to 7 days after the procedure. Also, avoid taking a shower for the first 24 hours after the procedure.
  • Alcohol should be avoided for the first seven days after the procedure, and caffeine should be limited for the first seven days post-procedure.
  • Avoid smoking completely.
  • 3 to 14 Days After the Procedure

After the first three days, you should increase your movement and start getting back to your daily activities gradually. Besides, you can gradually start exercising. Your doctor will recommend certain exercises that can enhance the healing process and help you in the long run.

The following guidelines should also be followed:

  • Apply ice 3 to 4 times per day for 15 to 20 minutes as required to minimize the pain.
  • You can start taking certain anti-inflammatory medications such as Tylenol to help you manage any pain or discomfort. Follow your doctor’s directions and do not take pain medications on your own.
  • Continue to avoid excessive caffeine, smoking, and alcohol.

Severe Pain after PRP Injection:

Severe pain after PRP injection is rare, and you should contact your doctor immediately if you experience severe pain after the procedure.

The pain varies significantly between different patients. PRP injections at the joints, knee, shoulder, or elbow usually produce mild to moderate pain and swelling, while injections into muscles, tendons, and ligaments produce much more pain.

Typically, the pain lasts for 2 to 3 days then starts to disappear. If it persists, contact your doctor immediately.

Walking after PRP Injection:

After your PRP injection, you should rest and forget about exercises for the first weeks to allow the platelets to work and attach properly. If you exercised, ran, or stretched excessively, the platelets may not properly attach to the injured tissues, leading to the failure of PRP therapy.

After the first weeks, you can gradually increase your movement. Just basic exercises like walking are enough.

After a while, you can try light workouts such as basic stretches and light yoga. Heavy workouts should be avoided completely since the pressure on the injected area, and especially joints, may prevent the platelets from staying in place, which will compromise the healing process of your injured tissues.

Some people stick to walking for weeks after the first weeks. It is the best basic exercise that can enhance the healing process of your damaged tissues.

  • How Long Do PRP Injections Last?

PRP therapy effects are not permanent, yet they can last between 18 months to 24 months maximum.

Most people who undergo PRP treatment need to visit their doctor to re-touch at least once a year. Most PRP treatment plans require at least three therapy sessions within 4 to 6 weeks, and the full effects usually appear after 4 to 6 months after the final session.

Do PRP Injections Work?

PRP therapy does not work for everyone and is not supported by science for some conditions. Doctors and healthcare providers report that PRP is effective in most cases. On the other hand, studies are usually done on a small sample of participants. Some studies show that it is effective, while others say that it does not make a difference.

Since there is no established protocol to prepare PRP injections, the factors that affect how PRP injections work need more research. For example, more studies are needed to determine when platelets should be activated, whether WBCs enhance or inhibit the healing process, and the amount of fibrin (a protein found in plasma and responsible for forming blood clots) that should be included in the PRP solution.
In conclusion, there is no right technique to prepare PRP serums, which means that the success of the therapy cannot be confirmed. Depending on the injured area, the type of injury, and how the PRP injection is prepared, the treatment may or may not work for you.

  • Swelling after PRP Injection under Eyes:

Some patients report that they experience swelling after PRP injections under their eyes, and it is normal and does not persist.

Within a week after getting PRP therapy, most swelling will be reduced, but some patients may still experience bruising. After two weeks, any swelling or bruising will disappear completely.

It is recommended to avoid wearing makeup for at least 6 hours after getting your PRP injection to help your skin heal properly and safely.

  1. Does Insurance Cover PRP Injections?

In most cases, insurance does not cover PRP therapy since most insurance companies consider it experimental and not an actual treatment.

On the other hand, some insurance companies do cover PRP therapy according to your condition, its severity, and your response to other treatments.

For example, some insurance companies cover PRP injections for tennis elbow and moderate to severe cases of chronic knee osteoarthritis.

Also, some companies provide health plans that cover PRP injections when you sign up as a participant for a study.

Contact your insurance provider to see if your current insurance plan covers PRP therapy or not. If not, ask if there is a way to get covered.

PRP Injection for Plantar Fasciitis:

Plantar fasciitis is a pain in the heel caused by plantar fascia damage due to repetitive stress. What makes the condition painful is that there is an adequate blood supply to the injured area, which enhances the inflammatory responses in the heel area.

Inflammation means that the healing process is working. PRP focuses on enhancing the inflammatory response rather than inhibiting it, especially when the pain exists for six months or longer. Stimulating the inflammatory response leads to stimulating the healing process.

The main concept of PRP therapy is to stimulate the release of growth factors to enhance the healing process of chronic injuries. Increasing the concentration of platelets and growth factors enhances the healing of soft tissues on a cellular level.

PRP is highly recommended for plantar fasciitis.

PRP Injection Frequently Asked Questions:

Running after PRP Injection:

PRP injection requires a lot of care, and you will need to visit your doctor many times. Besides, it can take between 2 weeks to 3 months to heal completely.

Therefore, if you think about running after getting your PRP treatment, do not do it. It would help if you got back to exercises gradually according to your doctor’s instructions. By following the recommended guidelines, you will be able to get back to exercising and running sooner than later.

Worse Pain after PRP Injection:

In certain cases, PRP injections are not the right treatment for the condition. For example, PRP effectively manages mild knee arthritis, but it can fail if you have moderate to severe arthritis.

In addition, PRP usually fails with massive tendon or ligament tears. These injuries require surgery.

Another reason why PRP might fail is using the wrong type of PRP for the condition. To prepare PRP serums, doctors invest in specific automated machines, and each machine produces a certain type of PRP serums. Your doctor may produce a type of serum that is not suitable for your condition.

Many other reasons can make the pain worse after PRP injections, and here are some of them.

  • Older patients do not have potent platelets, and therefore, they need higher platelets in their PRP serums. If the serum is not concentrated enough, the procedure may fail and result in worse pain.
  • The red PRP type may not be the best option for certain problems such as knee arthritis. If your doctor produces and uses it, it may make the problem worse.
  • PRP procedures may fail if the doctor does not have the proper experience in preparing and inject PRP.
  • PRP must be injected under ultrasound and fluoroscopy guidance to ensure that it will be injected into the injured area. However, many physicians and surgeons, especially the older ones, have never been trained to use these technologies to inject PRP and performing the procedure blindly can lead to its failure.

PRP Injection Research:

PRP works by stimulating the natural healing process in the injured area. When there is an injury, the body sends platelets to the injury site to repair and regenerate new tissues.

Platelets have many roles in our bodies, including releasing growth factors into the injury site to start the healing process and the formation of blood clots. PRP is a concentrated serum of platelets. Therefore, it provides all the growth factors and platelets needed to start and enhance healing and helps the body improve its ability to heal injuries naturally and effectively.

Many studies and research papers have proven that PRP is effective in managing many conditions and regenerating tissues. More than 5,000 published studies on PRP across all treatment areas such as aesthetic, orthopedic, surgery, sports medicine, and dental.

What to Avoid after PRP Injection?

After getting your PRP therapy, there are some instructions that you should follow and certain activities that must be avoided.

  • Avoid getting infected. The injection site must be clean, dry, and covered with a Band-aid the whole day of the procedure.
  • Do not take a shower for the first 24 hours after the procedure.
  • Avoid applying ice to the site of injection. The swelling is normal and means that the healing process is working.
  • Avoid over-the0counter anti-inflammatory medications for at least four days before and seven days after the procedure. It is recommended to avoid them for six weeks after the procedure.
  • Stop taking prednisone or any other corticosteroid medications for two weeks before and four weeks after the procedure.
  • If the injection is at one or both lower extremities, avoid driving immediately after the procedure and ask someone to drive you home.
  • For the first three days after the procedure, avoid all life activities except the basic life activities such as bathing, dressing, and walking. Too much walking or excessive movement should be avoided, and also, running and hikes are not allowed.
  • Avoid using it excessively if the injection is at an upper extremity such as shoulder, elbow, or wrist. Therefore, you should lift, pull, push, or grasp anything and avoid making any repetitive motion.
  • After two weeks, you will get back to your normal activities. However, you should avoid any activity that may increase the pain at the site of the injection.

PRP Injection Plantar Fasciitis Recovery:

In most cases, patients start seeing actual effects in 2 to 4 weeks, and the pain relief continues for more than 24 weeks.
Follow-up sessions of PRP treatment are necessary and assure that the effects last for a longer period. Unlike other treatments such as corticosteroids that work by numbing the pain, PRP therapy works by stimulating the natural healing process of your body. The results may be slower than other treatments, but they will remain for a longer time.

PRP Injection Protocol:

PRP injection protocol involves drawing blood, PRP preparation, and injection.

  • Blood will be drawn from a vein in the arm using a syringe (15 to draw 60 mL, or 0.5 to draw 2 ounces of blood, or more if needed).
  • The PRP will be prepared using a centrifugate.
  • A doctor or nurse will use a disinfectant such as iodine or alcohol to cleanse the injured area.
  • A local anesthetic such as lidocaine may be used to numb the site of injection. Some doctors do not prefer using local anesthesia because it may decrease the PRP effectiveness.
  • If the procedure is ultrasound-guided, your doctor will apply a special gel to the surrounding area of the injection site, and then they will press the ultrasound probe against the gel-covered skin. This will provide the doctor with a live image of where exactly the injection should be.
  • Your doctor will ask you to relax to make the procedure less painful and easier.
  • The doctor will inject the PRP into the injured area using a syringe and needle.
  • The site of injection will be cleaned, and a bandage will be placed.
  • Your doctor will provide you with instructions that you should follow typically after the procedure.

PRP Injection Return to Sport:

There will be many limitations to normal life activities for the first few days to a week after the procedure. Heavy exercises such as heavy lifting must be avoided for about two weeks. You will return to full activities after about 6 to 8 weeks and maybe longer depending on the activity or sport.

Studies show that PRP combined with a good rehabilitation program can significantly shorten the time to return to sports after injuries.

How Long before PRP Injections Work?

Depending on the condition and its severity, patients start seeing actual results between 2 to 6 weeks after getting a PRP injection. Chronic conditions and mild injuries usually result within two weeks, while severe injuries take a month and maybe longer.

The healing process begins immediately after the injection and develops over time. Following your rehabilitation program, adding therapy, and exercising regularly will improve the results, and they will appear faster. Over the next several months after getting your PRP injection, your condition will gradually improve.

Follow-up sessions are required for the best results. PRP works faster than other treatments, and the results last longer since your injury or condition is healing.

Prolotherapy and PRP Injections:

PRP and prolotherapy have a lot in common. They are both considered regenerative medicine that can promote and stimulate the body’s natural healing process to regenerate tissues and reduce pain.
However, they are slightly different in other aspects.

  • PRP injections depend on using the person’s blood to stimulate regeneration and the healing process. Blood is drawn from the patient, the platelets and plasma will be separated in a centrifugate, and the serum will be injected into the injured area. The platelets and growth factors will then stimulate the healing process and rebuild the damaged tissues.
  • Prolotherapy also depends on injecting a substance to stimulate tissue regrowth, but the substance is different from PRP. Prolotherapy depends on injecting an irritant solution, which is usually made of glucose and other substances. The substance causes mild irritation in the injured area, which enhances the regeneration qualities of the body.

Since both treatments can be used to treat the same conditions, your doctor should leave the decision to determine the best treatment option for you based on your condition.

Heel Spur injection, Cortisone heel spur injection
A PRP injection can be a very effective way to reduce plantar fasciitis pain, Achilles tendonitis insertional pain, ankle pain and foot pain. Come see our podiatrists for a no-obligation consultation for your foot and ankle pain!