Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy uses injections of a concentration of the patient's own platelets to accelerate healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. In this way, prp injections use each patient's own healing system to improve musculoskeletal problems. It may take several weeks for PRP injections to start working. For some conditions, especially those affecting the hair or skin, it can take up to 6 months before full effects are noticed.
For some conditions, including hair loss, you may need to repeat the procedure to maintain results. PRP injections can be effective in treating male pattern baldness, both in preventing hair loss and in promoting the growth of new hair. PRP can also help stimulate hair growth after hair transplants. They prepare the platelet-rich plasma solution from their own blood.
The blood is drawn and then spun at high speed. By turning it, you can separate the blood into its different parts. The plasma layer containing a high concentration of platelets is removed and injected into the injury site. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, very few insurance plans offer reimbursement for PRP injections.
In short, they use PRP injections in the hope that they will initiate the healing process for lesions where healing is slow or does not actually occur, such as tendinopathies and osteoarthritis. Although the equipment used to produce PRP and the injections themselves have been approved by the FDA, this procedure is considered investigational and has not been officially approved by the FDA for most uses. Research demonstrates a high therapeutic potential of PRP injections for orthopedic and sports-related injuries. Another scientific study revealed that patients with knee osteoarthritis could delay the need for knee replacement using PRP injections.
PRP can be injected deep into joints to reach ligaments and attachment points in tendons without the need for immobilization. In a study of 200 patients with osteoarthritis, PRP injections reduced pain and increased function after 12 months compared to other patients. In simpler terms, PRP injections activate the same processes that the body would normally use, but they are amplified many times over. Depending on your condition, you should see results 2 to 6 weeks after receiving a PRP injection.
A PRP injection is an outpatient procedure, meaning the patient will receive treatment and be able to go home the same day. You may need to stop taking certain blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, before you get PRP injections. Now, post-surgical PRP injections have expanded to help heal muscles, tendons and ligaments, as procedures in these tissues have notoriously long recovery times. Your body is very capable of healing itself when given the right push, and that's exactly what a PRP injection does.
If you receive it for cosmetic reasons, such as PRP injections for hair loss, your insurance probably won't cover it. Osteoarthritis, the most common and debilitating condition of cartilage, has long been a candidate for PRP injections.