PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections
What is it?
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) is a part of your blood that contains different growth factors. Injecting PRP in a damaged joint or tendon stimulate tissue regereration and promote healing, without causing more side effects than regular cortisone injections. This process is approved by Health Canada and your trained rheumatologist is able to do an injection for you depending on your needs.
How does it work?
Our blood contains a multitude of different molecules that help regenerate damage tissue. Harvesting these molecules is now possible and the PRP injection is a safe and effective way to regenerate damage joints and tendons. Platelets contain different growth factors (platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor beta (TGF-B), epidermal growth factor (EGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) among others). The plasma contains different molecules (fibrine, fibronectine, vibronectine) that help make these growth factors adhere to the damaged tissue.
By injecting a concentrated version of these molecules, it is possible to reduce inflammation and modify the regererative process.
Multiple studies have shown promising results in
osteoarthritis (damaged joints) - mainly with knee osteoarthritis
tendinopathies (damaged tendons) like lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), chronic plantar fasciitis
What is the procedure?
First, the procedure starts with a sample of blood (15-30 ml depending on the area to inject). The blood is the centrifuged with the technique adapted to the area where the PRP will be injected. The portion of the blood containing a high number of platelet will then be sampled and injected in the injured joint or tendon. Only a trained physician is able to do this injection. The injection procedure is highly similar to a cortisone injection and do not cause more side effects or risks.
Is it for me?
Since the possible risks of PRP injection are not worse than a cortison injection, it is possible to considerate this alternative almost anytime where a cortisone injection could be done. Most of the time, this procedure is considered after having failed a cortisone injection (no improvement in pain or recurrence of symptoms or needing multiple injections). It becomes a safe alternative that helps promote healing instead of just reducing the pain temporarily.
What to expect
First, it is important to stop all anti-inflammatory medications for at least 3 weeks. After a PRP injection, the growth factors will promote a local inflammatory reaction and some medications might alter this process, which is necessary for regenerating damaged tissues. This inflammatory reaction might cause some local disconfort which can last for a few days. It might take a few days to weeks to notice some improvement as the healing process can take some time and vary for everyone. Is it possible to repeat the PRP injection after 2-4 months is necessary.
There is no systemic side effects (no allergic reaction, no weight gain) and PRP injection is absolutely safe.
It is important to not do physical activity or physical work with the injected tendon or joint for 2 weeks after the procedure. After this period, physiotherapy exercises are added and gradual regular activities can resume.
PRP injections are not covered by RAMQ. Some private insurance companies may cover the procedure. The price vary depending on the area injected and the technique used.
Just send us a message and we will contact you!
*The first visit is covered by the RAMQ but fees will apply for the procedure at the second appointment