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PRP Injections for Sports Injuries (A Patient FAQ)

Author: Tim Bert, M.D.

What are PRP Injections?

Platelet-rich plasma injection – commonly referred to as “PRP injection” – is a relatively new approach to treating sports injuries. It’s non-surgical, requires no drugs, and speeds up the recovery process in the injured tissue – which is always a plus for athletes (whether you’re playing in the big leagues in Phoenix or jogging through your neighborhood in Tempe).

Here’s how I use PRP injections in treating sports injuries at our Phoenix, Mesa and Tempe locations…

  1. First, the patient has a basic blood draw done.
  2. Blood is placed in a device known as a centrifuge. This device separates the platelets and plasma from the red blood cells. We’re interested in keeping the platelet-rich plasma. This process takes about 15 minutes.
  3. Next, we’ll use ultrasound technology to guide a needle into the site of injury. (Local anesthesia is used to reduce discomfort.)
  4. Once the needle’s placed, the PRP mixture is injected into the injury site, and the growth factors gets to work in accelerating the body’s natural healing process.

What kind of injuries can a PRP injection treat?

It’s important to know up front that most patients have to undergo more than one PRP injection. I may ask patients to come back for a follow-up appointment six to eight weeks later to check in on healing progress. An additional PRP injection may be administered at this time.

This therapy may be used to treat:

  • Tendon injuries
  • Ligament injuries
  • Muscle injuries
  • Cartilage injuries
  • Stress fractures

Many of the most common sports injuries (rotator cuff injuries, severe sprains and strains, tennis/golfer’s elbow) could be eligible for PRP injection therapy. In fact, this therapy may even be used to alleviate the pain associated with non-athletic conditions like osteoarthritis. Learn more about PRP injections.

Have An Injury? Schedule An Evaluation in Phoenix, Mesa or Tempe

PRP injections aren’t always the best choice for every sports injury and every patient. In order to see if this therapy is appropriate for you, you’ll need to schedule an appointment for an injury evaluation first. Visit our contact page to reach one of our three Valley-area sports medicine locations near you. Or, schedule your appointment online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.

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