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How PRP Injections Work to Promote Post Surgical Healing

Post Surgical Healing, PRP, Arash A. Dini, MD

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has been all over the news in recent years, mainly thanks to the ranks of celebs who’ve turned to PRP to treat facial signs of aging. You may have read about those treatments, which the press dubbed “vampire facials” since they use the patient’s own blood to rejuvenate the skin “from the inside out.” But facial rejuvenation and anti-aging treatments are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to PRP.

Injections of platelet-rich plasma are used in many areas of medicine to promote natural healing when tissues are damaged by injury or disease. In orthopedics, PRP injections are routinely used to help the body recover and heal following muscle, joint, tendon, or ligament injuries. Performed right in the office, these injections can help some patients avoid the need for more invasive treatments by helping the body heal itself. But again, that’s just one way the injections are being used. As a leading orthopedic specialist, Dr. Arash A. Dini also uses PRP injections for patients who’ve had surgery to repair joints and soft tissues, promoting the body's own healing responses that can help his patients enjoy a faster, more complete recovery.

What is PRP?

PRP is a product that’s derived from your own blood. As its name implies, platelet-rich plasma contains both platelets and plasma, two components of blood. Plasma is the liquid part of your blood, while platelets are special components that play a very important role in healing.

Platelets contain proteins called growth factors that help stimulate healing responses. Growth factors and other components of PRP signal local cells to congregate at a site of injury so healing is “sped up,” and they also promote the growth and development of new, healthy cells to repair damaged tissues.

PRP is sometimes administered during orthopedic surgery before the incision is closed. More often, it’s administered via injections for a period of time after surgery, supporting natural healing throughout the recovery period. In both cases, PRP can help your body “jump start” healing after surgery for long-term recovery.

What to expect during and after PRP treatment

PRP treatment starts with a sample of your blood that's collected right in the office. That blood is processed using a special device that separates the platelets from other components of your blood. Then those platelets are combined with plasma to create a concentrated solution containing a very high number of platelets. Once the PRP is prepared, Dr. Dini injects them directly into the site of injury or, in this case, at the surgical site. Direct injections mean the PRP gets where it's needed most so it can begin working as soon as possible.

Once your treatment is complete, you’ll be able to go home and relax. You might have some discomfort near the injection site, similar to the discomfort you’d have after a corticosteroid injection. This discomfort is a part of the body’s healing responses, and it typically lasts for just a few days. During that time, you can use ice packs and over-the-counter pain medications to provide relief. Most patients benefit from reduced physical activity for a couple of weeks to allow the body the time and energy it needs to start the healing and recovery processes. After those two weeks, you might have physical therapy to restore strength and flexibility in the area. Complete recovery takes several weeks as your body works to heal and restore itself. Depending on the type of surgery you've had, you may need a second treatment to achieve optimal results.

Can PRP injections help your body heal itself?

Promoting post-surgical healing is just one way Dr. Dini uses PRP injections. He also administers PRP to help patients suffering from many types of musculoskeletal injuries and diseases, including arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, and nerve inflammation. If you’d like to learn more about PRP injections and how they can help your body heal following an injury, disease, or surgery, book an appointment online today.

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