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ShouldersPlatelet-rich Plasma

ShouldersPlatelet-rich Plasma

Platelet-rich Plasma

Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy is increasingly gaining popularity among athletes for the treatment of sports injuries.  Although only approved for bone graft treatment, some famous athletes have found relief and tissue healing using regenerative PRP therapy. So, what’s PRP Therapy? And does it work?

Read on to learn what PRP Therapy entails, how it works, and frequently asked questions about our therapy. You’ll also discover the benefits of PRP injections and precautions you should observe after receiving your PRP therapy.

What is PRP?

Platelet-rich Plasma contains two main blood components, namely Platelets and Plasma.

Platelets (thrombocytes) are the blood cells responsible for blood clotting and tissue healing. This is because they contain growth factors that promote cell reproduction and tissue regeneration. Therefore, platelet reactivation in your body plays an all-important function in natural body healing.

Plasma, on the other hand, is the liquid part of blood that consists of water and protein elements. It facilitates the movement of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets throughout the body.

How is PRP Made?

Platelet-rich Plasma is a blood sample that consists of more platelets than the normal level. Clinicians at Sforzo| Dillingham| Stewart |Orthopedics + Sports Medicine can make a PRP using your blood sample in the office. The process involves extracting a sample of your blood and spinning it inside a machine called a centrifuge. The device separates other blood components from the platelets, which are then concentrated within the plasma. The result is a blend of both platelets and plasma, with the former being the dominant component.

How Do Platelet-rich Plasma Injections Work?

A Platelet-rich Plasma Injection works under the principle of using an individual’s healing system to improve the body’s health. According to the Journal of Open Medicine, platelets consist of over 1,100 types of proteins and more than 1,500 bioactive factors. These include immune boosters, growth factors, tissue repair, wound healing, and enzyme inhibitors. As a result, PRP technology has the potential for effective use in oral surgery, veterinary, and sports medicine.

The Journal of Biomedical Research and Technology also lists Platelet-rich Plasma as a therapeutic compound containing several growth factors with highly effective therapeutic effects. Therefore, it is widely used as regenerative medicine in various clinical fields.

PRP Injection

At Sforzo|Dillingham |Stewart |Orthopedics + Sports Medicine, our PRP Therapy uses a concentrated injection of your platelets to help you recover from joint, muscle, and tendon injuries.

Here is what you should expect during the treatment process:

  1. Before the treatment, a clinician at Sforzo| Dillingham |Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine will take your blood. . The amount of blood extracted may depend on the target area for treatment.
  2. The clinician will run the blood extract inside a centrifuge for the platelet concentration. This may take about 15 minutes since the machine spins so fast.
  3. A technologist will take the plasma extract and prepare it for injection into your body.

4. The doctor will inject the platelets directly into the targeted body tissue, hence increasing the number of regenerative tissues inside your body. In some cases, Christopher Sforzo, M.D., may use ultrasound-guided technology to concentrate the required growth factors within a specific area of your body. Since the procedure uses your body tissues, it is safe and may be administered alone or incorporated into other medical procedures.

Benefits of PRP Therapy

PRP is a reliable and effective treatment for pain relief, swelling, and reduction of discomfort among athletes and other patients. It is one of the modern, non-invasive technologies that offers numerous benefits during the healing process.

Below are some of the benefits you will obtain from PRP Therapy:

  1. Minimally-invasive Procedure

PRP therapy is a simple procedure that involves blood extraction, the concentration of platelets, and injection of the affected area. Unlike surgery, you don’t require anesthetization or pain medication before the procedure. 

  1. Minimal Side Effects

This procedure has minimal risks and side effects because every injection is created from your blood samples. Besides, your body won’t reject or react negatively to blood samples extracted from your body. 

  1. Reduces Pain and Inflammation

Depending on the level of your injury, it may take a longer time to heal.  Yet with PRP technology, your body uses platelets and growth factors to facilitate natural healing.  An injury replacing one of your muscles, joints, or ligaments may cause pain, hence the need for strong anti-inflammatory medication. 

  1. Promotes Rapid Tissue Repair

In a study published by The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, PRP therapy was the most effective, non-invasive therapy for the treatment of chronic knee disorder. The study sampled 28 athletes with chronic knee disorder who received three injections of platelet-rich plasma. Three months after the procedure, 75% of the patients resumed their normal sporting activity.

Platelet-rich plasma, therefore, facilitates speedy tissue repair and recovery, unlike invasive surgery, where you may need a longer recovery time. It is, therefore, a good treatment option for athletes suffering from trauma and sporting injuries.

  1. Increases Collagen Production

PRP stimulates the production of collagen in your body, thus helping in skin rejuvenation. In a study conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of PRP in facial rejuvenation, 20 women aged 40-49 each received a single PRP injection. After 30 days, the patients recorded a significant increase in the collagen fibers present in the body, with no serious side effects.

Because it boosts Collagen production, it smooths wrinkles on your face, improving your skin tone and texture. As a result, platelet-rich plasma therapy is an effective remedy against acne and rosacea.

Before and After your PRP Injection Dos and Don’ts

These guidelines are designed to help encourage the best outcome both during and after your PRP injections.

  1. It is important to not take any anti-inflammatory medication 10 days before and 6 weeks after your final injection.  This includes Aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Naproxen, etc.  You may take Tylenol.  If you are not sure, please call Dr. Sforzo’s office.  
  2. It is important to be well hydrated prior to arriving for your appointment.  Dr. Sforzo encourages you to drink plenty of water two days before and the day of your appointment.  Adding Pedialyte (not the sports variety) will help you to hydrate more effectively.  Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol.  You will know if you are well-hydrated if your urine is clear and colorless.
  3. You may experience increased discomfort in the area of treatment.  This is a normal and positive response.  You may take Tylenol and, if necessary, we will provide a prescription for pain medication.
  4.  Please do not use ice or heat at the procedure site starting from the first injection until one month after the last injection.  
  5.  Please do not drink any alcohol 24 to 48 hours before and after your injection(s).
  6.  Beginning with the first injection and continuing through the final injection please refrain from strenuous exercise.  Normal activities are acceptable.  Your doctor will inform you when you may return to a more aggressive exercise program.  Dr. Sforzo will recommend a rehabilitation program beginning one week after the final injection.  Our physical therapy department will design a light strengthening program for you to continue at home.  

Is PRP Safe?

Yes. Platelet-rich plasma is a safe, regenerative medical procedure. This is because PRP injections originate from your blood samples, thus reducing the risk of infections or allergic reactions from medications such as Cortisone.

Additionally, the use of ultrasound technology ensures that Dr. Christopher Sforzo administers the injection only in the targeted area.


Does PRP work on shoulders?

Yes. PRP therapy is effective in the treatment of fractures and rotator cuff tears. It is also effective in the treatment of frozen shoulders.

How many PRP injections are needed for the shoulder?

If you are considering PRP injections for the treatment of rotator cuff muscles of the shoulders, you need 1-3 injections. The doctor will space your injections within the recommended one-month period. This reduces your chances of getting sore in the area being treated.

Is PRP effective for shoulder pain?

Yes. Ultrasound-guided PRP therapy is effective in the reduction of shoulder pain caused by rotator cuff tears. This helps improve your shoulder functions and reduces pain and the need for pain medication.

How long does it take for PRP to work on shoulders?

PRP works faster on shoulder joints, muscles, and soft tissues compared to tendons. Therefore, you should see an improvement in your symptoms within 1-3 months after your first PRP therapy.

Platelet-rich plasma therapy is a popular procedure currently used in dermatology and sports science. Since it has the potential to address a wide variety of health conditions, its benefits cannot be overemphasized. If you are considering PRP treatment, do not hesitate to contact the office of Sforzo l Dillingham l Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine.


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