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PRP Therapy in Asheville, NC

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Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)

Dr. Christie Lehman is excited to offer platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy at Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine to help reduce inflammation and discomfort in areas of the body. PRP therapy is one of the most popular and innovative procedures on the market because of its natural method and exciting results. The treatment utilizes a patient's very own plasma to stimulate and rejuvenate tissue, alleviating symptoms of chronic or new pain in the joints. If you are interested in PRP therapy, call Asheville Regenerative Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Asheville, NC to schedule a private consultation. Dr. Lehman is always excited to discuss all the benefits of PRP and how it can help you feel your best.What Is a Regenexx SCP?

The Regenexx Super Concentrated Platelet (SCP) Procedure and Platelet Lysate (PL) uses growth factors from your blood to repair damaged tissue.

For most patients, the recommended SCP or PL protocol involves a blood draw and an injection on the same day. This process applies to procedures for the knee, hip, shoulder, hand, wrist, foot, ankle, and elbow. Platelet Lysate is often recommended for back and spine treatments due to its fast release and reduced inflammation.

Am I A Candidate For PRP Therapy?

Women and men with a joint, ligament, muscle, or tendon injury are usually great candidates for PRP therapy. Also, those living with degenerative diseases like arthritis may also benefit from the healing and regenerating effects of PRP therapy. Ideal candidates often include patients who:

  • Are in good overall health
  • Are recovering from an injury
  • Have chronic pain
  • Have restricted mobility
  • Daily life is impacted by pain or lack of mobility
  • Have not seen results with physical therapy
  • Have tried other nonsurgical treatments without results
  • Want to avoid long-term medication use

Those who are NOT a candidate for PRP therapy include those who:

  • Have a history of cancer
  • Have a blood condition (leukemia, anemia, etc.)
  • Have a blood-clotting issue
  • Have an infection
  • Are an active smoker
  • Are pregnant

The PROCESS

On your procedure day, blood is drawn from a vein in your arm. This blood is then processed and prepared in our lab for re-injection within 24 hours. We use this blood to prepare an injection of highly concentrated platelet-rich plasma containing the growth factors isolated from your blood. This blood draw takes 15 – 30 minutes. During a second visit, this platelet-rich plasma is injected under image guidance into the treatment site. This procedure takes 20 – 30 minutes.

What Is Regenexx SCP?

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Platelet Lysate are Platelet procedures that contain healing growth factors from your own blood that promote your body’s natural ability to repair itself. The use of PRP to treat joint, tendon, ligament, and muscle injuries is becoming well known, thanks to exposure from professional athletes. Platelet injections have a stimulating effect on the repair cells within the targeted area, making those cells work harder to perform their natural job of healing the body. Like all Regenexx procedures, Regenexx SCP procedures are performed with high-level imaging guidance to ensure the most accurate placements of cells into the desired area. Our Advanced Platelet Procedures are more concentrated and purer than PRP created by the automated machines used at most regenerative medicine clinics, increasing its ability to stimulate the body's natural healing response. Platelet procedures are commonly used for soft tissue injuries, mild arthritis, spine conditions, and around nerves.

Frequently Asked Questions about PRP Therapy

Does PRP therapy really work? 
Yes. Much research has gone into the development of PRP-based procedures. 

How do I know if I am a candidate for PRP therapy? 
PRP therapy is advised for patients with mild to moderate osteoarthritis or chronic tendonitis in or around the large and small joints (shoulder, elbow, wrist, fingers, hip, knee, ankle, toes). Typically, PRP works for patients who have tried and failed conservative options such as rest, medication, and physical therapy.

Who is NOT a candidate for PRP therapy? 

  • Anyone with cancer (such as prostate cancer or breast cancer) not in remission for at least three years
  • Certain other malignancies or blood-borne diseases that you are being treated for
  • Any current infection
  • Smokers
  • Patients with multiple medical issues may not be good candidates

What is the cost of PRP therapy? 
The cost of PRP may vary, depending on the area(s) being treated. Even though insurance companies will not generally pay for PRP, our administrative team can provide information about easy payment plans when you call for an appointment.

How long do I have to wait to return to my normal activities? 
The answer depends on your condition and the body part being treated.

  • You may need a brace, sling, or walking boot for a few days.
  • Most people return to work the day after their procedure unless they experience a significant post-injection flare-up. In that situation, take an extra day off from work.
  • There will likely be some post-injection soreness for a few days. Return to normal activities may be related to how long this lasts.

How long does it take the PRP to "work"? 
PRP does not offer fast pain relief. The pain gradually subsides as the injured tissue repairs and pain-relieving factors activate. This can take weeks or months, but when successful, the effect is lasting. Maximum effects are usually seen at 6 – 9 months. Some areas may require 2 – 3 injections in closer succession. Protocols are regularly evolving.

How soon can I return to normal and athletic activities after PRP? 
It depends on your condition. Most chronic tendon injuries that have failed to respond to any other type of treatment will generally take a number of weeks to heal. Injections into joints and acute muscle injuries respond a bit sooner.

Are there any side effects or complications of PRP? 
No serious complications have been reported. Like any injection, there is a risk of infection or damage to a nerve or blood vessel. However, there is not a risk of adverse reaction to the platelets the way there is to a medication (ex. corticosteroids).

What are the side effects of commonly used cortisone injections (alternative treatment)? 
Cortisone injections have been widely used for years to treat sports injuries and arthritis. While cortisone injections treat inflammation, they do not heal the affected area. Also, steroid injections have potential complications such as skin atrophy, discoloration, weakening, rupture of the tendon where the injection is given, joint deterioration, and infection, among others.

Can I drive home after the PRP injection? 
It is Dr. Lehman's preference for you to have a responsible driver.

Do I need to schedule a follow-up appointment for PRP? 
Yes, Dr. Lehman will want to see you back in the clinic to check your progress. You will be asked to make a follow-up appointment, usually 10 – 12 weeks following the injection.

Can I take my normal medication(s) before and after the injection? 
Do not take anti-inflammatory medication, such as Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Mobic, Naproxen, or Diclofenac for seven days prior to the injection and several weeks after the last injection. Pain medication may be prescribed on the day of the procedure to be taken as needed. Tylenol/Acetaminophen is allowed.

What is the "typical" response to PRP? 
Research and clinical experience suggest that PRP can successfully treat pain from chronic degeneration and tears of tissue tendons and pain from mild to moderate joint articular cartilage degeneration. It is important to understand that PRP isn't a miracle cure. Dr. Lehman sees a pretty high percentage of patients finding relief. For a minimally invasive procedure for injuries/conditions that are notoriously hard to heal, that's pretty impressive. Technique and ultrasound guidance is essential to the accuracy of placement and enhancing the efficacy of the injection.

What if I don’t get a good enough response with PRP treatment? 
Then bone marrow-derived cellular therapy, Regenexx SD, or surgical treatment might be the next step.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.