A Platelet Rich Plasma injection is a non-surgical procedure that provides long lasting or permanent relief from spinal pain. These injections contain restorative cells that the spine can benefit from if injections are administered in the area. This procedure was first used with heart surgery and plastic surgery but was soon found to manage pain in many areas including the joints and spine.
What is Platelet Rich Plasma?
Platelets and plasma consist of 1 percent of the human blood. Platelets in the blood play a key role in healing injuries and blood clotting. Platelets are the first respondents to any injury in the body; upon arrival these components begin to repair the injury while drawing in stem cells to further heal the injury. With this function in mind, doctors have quickly discovered that a concentrated form of these hard-working platelets injected into a pained area enhances the natural process of healing.
The Platelet Rich Plasma Injection Procedure
An amount of blood similar to a blood test is drawn from the patient and placed into a centrifuge. This machine spins at a high speed to separates the platelets from the blood. The platelet-rich plasma is next gathered and x-ray guidance is often used to safely inject areas around the spine. The entire process rarely takes over an hour, and discomfort levels do not reach extreme levels. The majority of patients typically require only one injection, while others may need one to three more administrations over the course of six months.
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Tylenol can be used to relieve any pain felt post-procedure, but under no circumstances should anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen be used to avoid slowing the healing process. Patients can expect to experience moderate soreness for up to three days after the procedure, and rest is required in order to protect the punctured tissue. Most of the pain should not be present by the six month mark of recovery.
Individuals with a low platelet count, metastatic disease, an active infection or cancer should not undergo the PRP procedure.
Since PRP is not foreign to the body there is close to zero chance of rejection. Most risks with PRP injections are due to improper administration or handling of blood by medical professionals.
PRP may be able to prevent surgery, and combining the procedure with stem cells usage may increase that possibility.