What is PRP Treatment?

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a liquid made from your blood. PRP treats injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones. We give PRP to you in a shot, or injection.

What happens during PRP treatment?

The treatment takes about a half hour (30 minutes):

  1. We will draw a little of your blood.

  2. While you wait, we spin down the blood until it separates into its different parts. Then we collect the PRP from your blood into a shot (syringe).

  3. We use ultrasound to guide us to the right spot on your body.

  4. We inject the PRP into your injury. The shot takes about 1 minute, and you may feel more than 1 needle stick.

You can have a PRP shot as often as you need it. Repeat treatments will depend on how well PRP works for you.

What does PRP do?

Studies have shown that PRP may speed up healing. We're still not sure exactly how it works.

Does PRP cause any side effects?

PRP is not a drug, and doctors see it as safe. Here are some side effects to watch out for:

  • Pain—Some people have soreness in the spot where we inject the PRP.

  • Infection—There's always the risk of infection with any treatment that breaks the skin.

  • Allergic reaction—In a few patients, the body rejects its own PRP. This is very rare.

  • Blood clot—The needle we use to give the shot could hurt a blood vessel and cause a blood clot. This hardly ever happens because we use ultrasound to guide the needle. If it does happen, we will treat the blood clot.

  • Bruising—Sometimes the skin around a PRP shot looks bruised.

If you have any of these side effects after a PRP shot, please tell your doctor.

How much does PRP treatment cost?

The charge for PRP shots at University of Minnesota Health is about $300 per treatment. Every plan is different, but many insurance plans don't cover PRP. Contact your insurance plan to find out more.

What can PRP treat?

A lot of research has been done on treating certain problems with PRP. So these are the ones we use it for most often:

  • Tendon injuries that are long-term (chronic).

  • Arthritis that affects bones and cartilage in the joints (osteoarthritis).

Sometimes we use PRP:

  • To treat short-term (acute) muscle and tendon injuries.

  • During certain kinds of surgery to help with healing.

PRP may help with many other problems, but we need more studies to find out.

What is PRP, and how do you make it?

Blood has both liquid and solid parts. The liquid is called "plasma." The solids are red and white blood cells and platelets. Platelets are known for their role in clotting blood. They also have proteins called "growth factors" that help to heal injuries.

A PRP shot contains plasma with platelets and growth factors. We have taken out the red and white blood cells.

Is PRP treatment new?

PRP was first used in 1987. In the late 1990s oral surgeons in other countries began using PRP. Then doctors started using PRP to treat racehorses. The first human study in America was done in 2006. PRP has become popular with bone doctors (orthopedists) because it may heal many muscle and bone problems.

Are there other treatments like PRP?

There are other healing treatments that are made from the body. These include:

  • Autologous whole blood injection (ABI)

  • Stem cell therapy

  • Prolotherapy

  • Bone marrow aspirate concentrate (BMAC)

At University of Minnesota Health, we focus on PRP therapy and BMAC. But we are always looking for new treatments supported by research. Ask your doctor if you would like to learn more.

For informational purposes only. Not to replace the advice of your health care provider. Copyright © 2016 University of Minnesota Physicians. All rights reserved. SMARTworks 524280 – 03/16.

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For informational purposes only. Not to replace the advice of your health care provider. Copyright © 2016 University of Minnesota Physicians. All rights reserved. SMARTworks 524280 – 03/16.