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PRP Therapy in Asheville, NC

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About Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)

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.

Procedure Day

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.

Post-Procedure

The Regenexx SCP and PL injections produces a micro injury in the joint. As a result, expect the joint to be sore for one to three days. Your physician may prescribe pain medicines that will not hinder the healing caused by the procedure. Patients can additionally take Tylenol but are asked to avoid NSAIDs. The goal is to allow the stem cells to attach and then to protect them while they differentiate into various tissues. For this reason, you will be asked to keep the joint as still as possible for 30-60 minutes after the procedure. For the first day after, you should limit activity on the joint. Wear all recommended braces or boots.

Most patients report a modest improvement in the first month. You will notice that as time goes on your pain that occurred before is less severe and frequent. Most patients are able to resume light activities after 5 to 7 days. Usually at 6 to 8 weeks patients begin to resume a more vigorous exercise schedule. Most of our very active patients are able to return to their regular routine in 6 weeks and push their performance to higher levels in 8 to 12 weeks. Improvements will continue throughout this time period. Most patients notice continued healing over many months. Our outcome data suggests peaking at 1-2 years out. Results vary by patient and depend on the condition of the area treated, age, and general health. kick-start your normal healing process to encourage your body to heal itself. Regenexx’s proprietary lab processing allows us to remove nearly all of your white and red blood cells so that what is being injected contains only what your body needs to help repair damage. This difference between Regenexx’s super-concentrated PRP and most other PRP is visible. The usual standard fare PRP is reddish in color because it still contains a significant number of red blood cells while Regenexx’s PRP is amber in color. In addition, Regenexx PRP is more concentrated by a factor of 3X – 5X above what a basic bedside centrifuge machine can produce for physicians. Our in-vitro experiments demonstrate that this produces better tissue healing in tendon injuries and better stimulation of the local stem cells.

PRP FAQs

Does PCP really work?

Yes. Much research has gone into the development of PRP based procedures. (see blog)

How do I know if I am a candidate for PRP therapy?

PRP therapy is advised for patients with mild-moderate osteoarthritis or chronic tendonitis in or around the large and small joints (shoulder, elbow, wrist, fingers, hip, knee, ankle, toes). Typically the patient has failed conservative treatment 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 5 years
  • Certain other malignancies or blood-borne diseases that you are being treated for
  • Any current infection
  • Patients using a high dosage of Coumadin who very easily bleed
  • Patients with multiple medical issues may not be good candidates

What is the cost of PRP therapy?

The cost of PRP treatment may vary depending on the area(s) being treated. Insurance companies will not pay for PRP. This is paid for out of pocket. 

How long do I have to wait to return to my normal activities?

How quickly you can return to your normal activities depends on the condition and body part being treated.

  • Depending on what area is treated a brace, sling, or walking boot may be used for a few days.
  • Most patients are able to return to work the day following the procedure unless they experience a significant post-injection flare. In that situation, the patient may need an extra day off work.
  • There will likely be some post-injection soreness. Return to normal activities may be related to how long this lasts - several days usually.

How long does it take the PRP to "work"?

PRP does not offer quick 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?

Return to athletic activity depends on the type and site of injury. Most chronic tendon injuries that have failed to respond to any other type of treatment will generally take quite 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 related to PRP. 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 over many years to treat sports injuries and arthritis. Unlike PRP injections, cortisone injections allow only inflammation and pain to settle down and they do not induce healing. Hence, in many conditions, the pain will recur due to a lack of healing. Also, steroid injections have potential complications such as skin atrophy, discoloration, weakening, and 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 driver.

Do I need to schedule a follow-up appointment?

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 7 days prior to the injection and several weeks after the last injection. Pain medication will be prescribed on the day of the procedure to be taken as needed. A regular aspirin regimen (81mg/day) is ok. Tylenol/Acetaminophen is allowed.

What is the "typical" response to PRP treatment?

Research and clinical experience suggest that PRP can successfully treat pain from chronic degeneration and tears of tissue tendons, and pain from mild-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 get over 50% relief though. 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.