Platelet Rich Plasma

The goal of platelet rich plasma is essentially to stimulate healing by utilizing the patient’s own platelets.  Platelets are a normal component of blood and play a major role in the initial stages of healing after an injury.  While other important cell types and molecules are present in PRP, platelets are the primary component thought to be responsible for initiating a healing response during injury.  When injected, PRP may speed healing in a recent injury, re-initiate a healing response in chronic injury, or modulate an immune response in more conditions such as arthritis.   Studies on PRP have exploded over the last decade as a result of its wide range of potential uses, including established effectiveness for conditions including tendinopathies (tendonitis, tendinosis, partial tears), spinal complaints (facet, disc, nerve), cartilage disorders and arthritis.

At FoRM, with over 10 years experience in regenerative medicine we have treated a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions with success. Please inquire now if still questioning if we have treated your condition.  Chances are, we have!


Conditions Treated

  • Joints and Cartilage: Osteoarthritis, meniscus tears, labral tears, chondromalacia.

  • Ligaments: Chronic and acute sprains. Includes MCL, LCL, PCL, ACL at the knee, ATFL and deltoid ligaments at the ankle, wrist injuries.

  • Tendons: Chronic and acute strains, tendinosis/tendinitis, partial tears. Includes tennis and golfers elbow, patellar tendonitis, achilles tendonitis, peroneal tendons, runner's knee, rotator cuff, calcific tendinitis.

  • Muscle Injuries

  • Spinal and Facet: Whiplash injuries, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, chronic low back pain, DJD and disc related pain, facet syndrome, headaches.

  • Shin splints, plantar fasciosis/fasciitis.


"I'm a 66 year old practitioner of Crossfit, a vigorous regiment of weight training, mobility training and gymnastics.  I had been involved in the sport when I damaged my shoulder. 

Dr Minarik identified the issue as a complex combination of bursitis, tendinitis, torn ligaments and a generally unhealthy 66 year old shoulder. He recommended several PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) treatments. I was unfamiliar with the procedure and did some research. I liked the non-surgical approach.  My own blood was withdrawn, modified, and re injected into very specific locations in my shoulder. My recovery has been more than I had hoped. 

I continued to increase strength and mobility training. At the beginning of 2014 I began training of the Crossfit Open Games. I completed the 5 session competition several weeks ago.  I finished 339th worldwide in my age/gender group and 24th in the Northwest region. The competition included, among other movements, pull-ups, dead lifts, burpees, and thrusters.  All of these movements required a strong, active, healthy shoulder.

Thanks for the treatment and the resulting opportunity to become a better Crossfit athlete".

- AP


Click on Questions to see answers.

Q: Does the treatment hurt? +
A: This depends largely on the structure injected and type of PRP solution used. A local anesthetic is used at the injection site to reduce needle/injection discomfort; this part is generally well tolerated. PRP is meant to stimulate an immune response, which starts with inflammation (and is the reason for pain during any injury). Since PRP re-stimulates this response, there can be ranging degrees of increased soreness and reduced mobility following treatment, on average for 2-5 days.

For injections into a joint, such as for osteoarthritis, there is typically minimal discomfort, as the PRP solution used often helps modulate or reduce joint irritation.
Q: Can I take pain medications following treatment? +
A: Tylenol is generally allowed for pain relief. Low dose opioid medications may be prescribed for certain injections (typically only needed for 2-3 days following treatment). Anti-inflammatory and steroid medications are not allowed (rare exceptions) as these interfere with a normal inflammatory and healing response.
Q: How quickly does it work? When will I see results? +
A: This depends on the type of injury, location, and length of time since onset. As a general rule, it takes 2-3 months for the initial stages of regeneration and repair to occur. At this point patients typically see and feel results. Repair processes can continue for many months after injections. For osteoarthritis, pain reduction can actually occur much more quickly, within a couple weeks. And when applied for newer (recent/acute) injuries, PRP may actually speed up healing time.
Q: Do I have to avoid sports or my favorite activities? If so, for how long? +
A: Again, this varies depending on the condition. Some treatments allow for return to baseline activities within 1 week, others require slow progression and therapeutic exercises over 2-3 months. Remember, we are typically trying to stimulate an injury to heal that is not already doing so on its own, which often requires a change or rest from the activity that may be preventing full recovery in the first place. But this does not mean sitting still! Physical therapy and/or targeted exercises/movements are very helpful during this process.
Q: Do you recommend physical therapy with PRP? +
A: Yes! For certain conditions exercises are provided in our office. For others we have a list of quality PTs we refer to for concurrent treatment.
Q: Are there other drugs or medications involved? +
A: Aside from a small amount of local anesthetic, there are no other medications used or necessary. PRP is a completely natural procedure involving the patient's own blood that is centrifuged, separated and then re-injected.
Q: How many injections are needed and how often? +
A: Typically 2-3 injections are needed, at 4-6 week intervals, but some conditions may only require 1 treatment. A follow-up is typically done at 3 weeks to assess progress, and determine timing and need for subsequent injections.
Q: What are the contra-indications for PRP? +
A: PRP is generally very safe and well tolerated with most medications or other medical conditions. Platelet or bleeding disorders, patients on immunosuppressive medications, active cancer, or infection around the site to be treated are contraindications to treatment. Anticoagulants (blood thinners such as warfarin/coumadin) interfere with platelet function and are a relatively contraindicated. For certain patients, discontinuing these medications for a short time before and after treatment, with the prescribing physician's knowledge and consent, may be a option to undergo treatment.
Q: What are the risks to using PRP? +
A: PRP is derived from your own body, posing little danger of allergy, hypersensitivity or foreign-body reactions. Risk of infection at the injection site is even further reduced given the presence of white blood cells (components of your immune system) in the PRP. A clean technique is used throughout the process to minimize exposure to microbes (infectious agents).
Q: How does Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) work? +
A: Platelets are normal components of the blood that are involved in the initial stages of inflammation and repair at an injury site.  PRP involves drawing a patient's blood and concentrating the platelets in a centrifuge.  These platelets are then reinjected to injured tissue.  The platelets release molecules (cytokines, growth factors) that signal an injury to the body and help start (or re-initiate) a healing response.  Click the image below for a brief educational video.


Schedule an appointment online with Dr. Minarik or Dr. Herman.


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