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Essence Health Group

Why Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections Have Been Nicknamed the “Accelerator” in the Healing Process

Platelet Rich Plasma Injections for Osteoarthritis

PRP new medical treatment option for Osteoarthritis

What is PRP?

Platelet Rich Plasma. Plasma is the body’s regeneration powerhouse, packing a punch in your body’s natural ability to heal. It is the liquid part of your blood, mostly made of water and protein. It lets red and white blood cells and platelets move through your bloodstream. Platelets are a type of blood cell that makes your blood clot. They also play a major role in healing. You may have heard about athletes like Tiger Woods getting platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections to help heal an injury. It is becoming more and more common as a leading natural option to repair and put the healing process into hyperdrive. Which is why it has been labeled the “accelerator” for recovery treatment programs. Doctors may use platelet-rich plasma (PRP) on injuries or damage to tendons, ligaments, muscles, joints, and skin.


How much does PRP cost? Will my insurance cover PRP?

PRP injections are a newer treatment that have been tested extensively in large-scale trials, especially for osteoarthritis.  These trials demonstrate both the safety and the efficacy of PRP for knee arthritis and arthritis symptoms occurring in other joints throughout the body. PRP can also be beneficial in treating certain tendon injuries including partial tears of the patellar tendon, plantar fasciitis, and elbow tendinitis.  However, insurance plans will not yet cover this type of new treatment. We provide affordable PRP injections, averaging $400 per treatment at Essence Med in Council Bluffs.


What should I expect at my PRP appointment?

To collect plasma, our medical team draws blood from your body and uses a machine to separate the platelet-rich plasma from the rest of the blood. The platelets are known to contain anti-inflammatory and growth or healing factors.  PRP has anti-inflammatory capacity, which makes it good for arthritis management.  The centrifuge process of concentrating the plasma and platelets is performed right in our office at your appointment. The area of your body being treated (the site of pain, injury or osteoarthritis) is numbed with a local anesthetic. Once you’re numb, a small needle is used to inject your plasma into the area of your body being treated

Once platelets are in the area that is being treated, they break down and release growth factors, which are compounds that help cells repair and renew. This is thought to trigger your body’s healing process. 

At Essence Med we use live video fluoroscopy during injections to ensure we are getting into the precise location to maximize results of your treatment program. Many providers do not use anything to navigate the needle or use ultrasound to help them guide the needle for treatment. PRP injections can be done this way, but we have a saying in our office, “to see is to know, and to not see is to guess”, and we want to make sure every drop is going into the exact location that will benefit your treatment area the most. We use leading medical technology to pinpoint the most ideal needle endpoint to release the plasma using clear x-ray imagery. PRP injections usually take about 30-45 minutes, though it depends on the area you’re targeting.


Is there downtime with PRP treatment?

There is no downtime for PRP treatments. The injections may cause a temporary local irritation for up to 30 minutes following treatment. Ice packs or over-the-counter pain medication should suffice for treating any irritation. Arthritis pain improvement occurs typically within a few days. It is not necessary to stop aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines before or after PRP injections. It is recommended to wait 2 weeks between PRP treatments and 3 weeks before starting any additional injections such as viscosupplementation.

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