Stop taking all over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (ie. Advil, Aspirin, Motrin) for 1 week before the treatment. Switch to Tylenol if required. Come to appointments fed and well-hydrated.
The platelet portion of the blood contains several compounds called 'growth factors' which signal our cells to multiply and grow. The cells that make up ligaments and tendons have a poor blood supply and therefore tend to heal slower and often incompletely compared to muscle tissue. By concentrating the growth factors and injecting them directly into the site of injury, the growth signal is released and the injured tissue heals at a considerably quicker rate. PRP is essentially using the body's own healing mechanisms, concentrating it and directing it to the exact site of injury.
There are several growth factors that are found in platelets including 'platelet-derived growth factor' (PDGF), 'transforming growth factor' (TGF-β), 'platelet-derived angiogenesis factor' (PDAF), 'insulin-like growth factor' (IGF) and several others. The presence of these compounds signals the inflammatory response, which attracts blood flow and therefore accelerates healing.
The treatment can be moderately painful. Freezing is used to numb the injection site, which minimizes the pain. Treatments are generally quite short (5-15min) and most people can simply grin and bear the discomfort. Over the counter medications like Tylenol can be used safely after the procedure, if necessary.
PRP is a very safe treatment. Bruising at the treatment site can occur and a mild worsening pain in the region for 1-3days is an expected outcome. Risk of infection and accidental puncture of nerves, spinal cord or organs (esp. lung) exists with any injection-based therapy, but are extremely rare.
Dr. Meli practices PRP in Vancouver at the Stein Medicine Clinic at the Hornby location in the downtown core. In Squamish, Dr. Meli practices at Euphoria Natural Health, which is in Garibaldi Village.