Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections are becoming increasingly popular as a safe and effective treatment for musculoskeletal problems. Because treatments use the patient's own tissues, PRP injections are generally considered safe and can be used alone or in conjunction with other procedures. While dermatologists still have a lot of unanswered questions, the procedure itself seems to be safe and beneficial. The main advantages of PRP injections are that they can reduce the need for anti-inflammatory drugs or stronger medications, such as opioids.
Platelet-rich plasma has been found to significantly improve the healing process, and the use of a PRP injection for shoulder pain caused by rotator cuff tears, Achilles tendon ruptures, and other soft tissue injuries is becoming more common. PRP injections are prepared by taking one to several tubes of your own blood and passing them through a centrifuge to concentrate platelets. The idea is that injecting PRP into damaged tissues will stimulate the body to develop new, healthy cells and promote healing. Injections are administered using a needle (guided by an ultrasound), so there is a chance of damage to an artery or vein.
Infection can sometimes arise in the injured area, so it is important to take all necessary precautions when performing the procedure. Some people who have undergone PRP therapy complain of acute pain or pain at the injection site. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, very few insurance plans offer reimbursement for PRP injections. Like almost all medical treatments, there are potential advantages, as well as potential drawbacks and uncertainties in using PRP injections to treat osteoarthritis.