Patients who suffer from various joint injuries now have a new treatment option available to them at Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC). The low-risk medical procedure, which only takes about a half hour, may postpone the need for surgery, according to the PCRMC Orthopedics Group.
A platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection is a treatment used for a variety of common orthopedic conditions. PRP injections offer an alternative to surgical interventions.
“It may help avoid surgery down the road,” says PCRMC Orthopedic Surgeon Michael Potter, MD. “It may put off a knee replacement surgery.”
The injections can be used for patients with conditions including tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, sprained knees, chronic tendon injuries and acute sports injuries, such as ligament and muscle injuries.
Additionally, PRP has been used in outpatient settings to treat common overuse conditions including Achilles tendonitis, rotator cuff tendonitis and patellar tendonitis.
This service is being offered to patients at PCRMC on a cash-only basis for $375. This procedure is not covered by most insurance companies or Medicare.
The entire process takes about 20 to 30 minutes and can be done in the PCRMC Orthopedics office located in the PCRMC Medical Office Building, 1050 West 10th Street, Rolla, MO.
In November 2015, PCRMC Orthopedics care providers performed the first PRP injection on a patient at PCRMC.
PRP is obtained from the patient who is being treated. During the procedure, about 15 mL of the patient’s blood is drawn from a vein in his or her arm.
The patient’s blood is then placed in a specialized centrifuge, a machine that spins at a high speed to separate the different types of blood cells. The care provider then extracts the platelet-rich portion of the blood and injects this into the area of the patient’s injury.
The main benefits of PRP are thought to be caused by growth factors released from the patient’s blood platelets. Growth factors are chemicals that signal the body to initiate a response to remedy the injury.
“There’s minimal risk,” Dr. Potter says about PRP injections. Dr. Potter notes that whenever a needle is inserted through a patient’s skin, infection can occur.
PRP injections are not recommended in individuals with bleeding disorders, those taking anti-coagulation (blood-thinner) medications or people who have cancer, active infections or are pregnant.
For more information about PRP or to schedule an appointment, call the PCRMC Orthopedics Group at 573-364-5633 (KNEE).