Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy takes your own blood, concentrates its healing properties, and reinjects it back into you to speed healing. Our team of expert musculoskeletal physicians, nurses and technologists who perform PRP therapy is led by Thomas J. Learch, MD, chief of Musculoskeletal Radiology, (below left) and Joseph C. Giaconi, MD (below right).
A few examples of treatment include:
- Wrist: extensor carpi ulnaris (ECU) tear
- Plantar fasciitis (foot)
- Tennis elbow
- Small rotator cuff tear (shoulder)
Before Arriving for Your Exam
- Directions and parking
- Do not take aspirin or aspirin-related medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Aleve® or Advil®, for two weeks before your therapy. You should discuss any changes to your medications with your physician.
- You should not have PRP therapy if you have:
- Abnormal platelet function
- Active systemic infection
- Active cancer
- Low-platelet count
- Severe anemia
A radiology nurse or technologist will ask you a few questions regarding your medical history. They will also do a few simple tests such as taking your blood pressure.
Please inform the technologist, radiology nurse or physician of any allergies you may have before your exam.
An imaging physician will discuss this therapy with you in detail and answer any questions you may have.
An hour before your scheduled PRP therapy, blood is collected and the platelets, which contain your body’s natural healing components (growth factors), are concentrated in a centrifuge.
During Your Exam
During the treatment, a local anesthetic is used on the affected region, and then the platelet rich plasma is reinjected under ultrasound-guidance to stimulate and enhance healing.
In most cases, one treatment is enough, but in certain cases between one and three treatments are recommended for maximum benefit over four to six weeks.
After Your Exam
Immediately after the procedure, you will remain lying down and under observation for a few minutes up to 30 minutes.
Do not take aspirin or any aspirin-related drugs for two weeks after your injection. Your musculoskeletal imaging physician will prescribe pain medication as needed.
If the affected area is your foot, ankle or knee, you will need to wear a boot-type immobilizer. For 48 hours you will need to keep all weight off that foot. The boot immobilizer should be worn for two to three weeks after the injection.
Avoid heavy or repetitive physical activity with the treated body part for up to a week to allow the healing to occur. If the affected area is your elbow, for example, avoid vigorous activities, strong gripping or lifting of loads heavier than 10 pounds for four weeks after the injection.
There may be some swelling and soreness at the injection site for a day or two. Pain medicine should alleviate the soreness and swelling. Elevate the leg or arm, and limit your activities as much as needed to remain comfortable.
You might have some discomfort in the area of the injection that can last a few days or up to a week. Sometimes it can seem like your injury is worse than before the treatment, but that is because an inflammatory response has just been stimulated. This is common, and the temporary worsening of your symptoms usually doesn’t last. Since PRP’s effectiveness is based on your own body’s ability to heal, most patients notice improvement after two to six weeks. In most cases, pain is replaced with soreness and then the soreness goes away. Strength and endurance slowly increase with time. Many patients notice improvement for as long as six to nine months.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 310-423-8694.
The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.