PRP – Platelet Rich Plasma 

PRP injections have been used to treat many different orthopedic issues.  There are many misconceptions about what PRP is and what it can do.

 PRP Most Common Questions:

  • will prp help my condition??
  • what does the procedure involve?
  • how long is recovery from a prp injection?
This post will focus briefly on the typical recovery times we see in our office, and those quoted in the scientific literature.

PRP injection (Platelet-Rich Plasma) is a growing treatment option for many orthopedic injuries and conditions. These injections are an in-office procedure.  The entire procedure from start to finish generally takes 30 minutes or so.  The risks of PRP injections are very low because you are receiving your own blood.  We do not add any medications to the PRP injection.

Will PRP work for my injury?

PRP therapy is used to treat osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder, and hip. The primary use  (at present) is for many overuse sports injuries including:

In PRP therapy, a patient’s blood is drawn, separated and re-injected into injured joints and muscles to ease pain. After the injection, your platelets release special growth factors that lead to tissue healing and repair.

 PRP recovery time: What can I expect after an injection?

Patients may experience approximately two to three days of being sore and usually are prescribed pain medication. Patients need to rest for a few days or weeks after the treatment to not push the injected tissue too quickly. Typically, pain relief starts to occur within three to four weeks and continues to improve over a period of three to six months following an injection.  The recovery time frame varies depending on what we are treating.  Sometimes arthritic joints respond much faster to these injections than a patient being treated for tendonitis.

Why PRP and not Cortisone?

If successful, PRP generally results in long-lasting reliefcortisone shot because the degenerative tissue has started to regenerate or regrow itself. The bioactive proteins stimulate healing and repair. New research shows PRP to be more effective than cortisone injections –which simply mask inflammation and have no healing capabilities.

Cortisone has no healing properties, does not work long term and on occasion can lead to tissue damage.

 

If you have a sports injury or osteoarthritis and have questions about PRP injections, please ask me in the comments below or contact my orthopaedic office in Fishkill, NY – Hawthorne, NY  or in Westchester County, New York.

Dr. Howard Luks, MD – Fishkill, NY, 200 Westage Business Center, Suite 115, Fishkill, NY 12524, United States (US) - Phone: (845) 896-4178 Fax: (914) 789-2743 Email: contact@howardluksmd.com

Recommended Reading:

Tennis Elbow: What is it? Is PRP an option?

PRP for Tendons and Arthritis

Platelet-Rich Plasma

PRP and Elbow Ligament Injuries

About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very “social” patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles — all geared to improve your quality of life.
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23 comments on “PRP Injection Recovery Time

    1. There is no science to support it.. but many are trying it. Anecdotally some may say it worked… but until the research catches up we will not know if it is the PRP which is healing the labrum or not.

  1. I just had PRP injection into shoulder. Hx of rotator cuff surgery, laurel repair and bicep tenodesis 11 months ago. Developed sever scar tissue and surascapular nerve entrapment. And had a second surgery 5 months ago. ROM still very limited and pain w movement.

    What do you recommend for rehab after PRP. I am an avid long distance runner, gym enthusiast and have been in PT for 11 months. Just started lifting light weights w cables. How long should this joint be rested? Also does movement of shoulder joint with running or exercise impede the healing of the PRP and would it decrease chances of a favorable outcome?

    1. LuAnn… PRP unfortunately will not help you to gain back your motion. PRP injections can be useful in very limited applications around the shoulder. Your motion and activities generally aren’t limited after the injection… but you should check with your surgeon and follow their protocol.
      good Luck
      Howard Luks

  2. I have shoulder pain more than 1.5 years. I felt the pain while I was serving in tennis. There is no pain when I stand still, but it hurts when rotating inside or back or holding mouse using the computer. So many MRI, finally doctors couldn’t find any tears in tendons. I’ve tried all conservative treatments such as PT for 30 days, dry needling, kinesiotape, ice packs, rest, pills, cortisone shot. Finally, my physioterapist made me PRP injection yesterday. After injection I feel no pain as they said and I don’t know it works.

  3. I had a PRP injection in my elbow for tennis elbow 5 days ago. I am still experiencing a great deal of localised pain and struggling to move my fingers without pain. There is little to no strength with certain movements particularly grasping. all in all it feels worse now than before the injection. They also discovered a grade 3 tear in the tendon. I have been icing and resting since injection but am concerned about my recovery. Any advice please

    1. Hi Louise… 5 days is a very short time. I usually tell my patients that it may take 4-6 weeks for a PRP injection into the elbow to start to improve your symptoms.

      Good Luck
      Howard Luks

  4. I have had 3 PRP treatments in 3 week intervals in my left knee to treat tendonitis and degenerative arthritis. I have experienced a decrease in pain free movements and athletic capability after each set of shots. Is this frequency of injections normal given the standard recovery time? And do I just need more time after the shots to see if the PRP was effective? Thank you for your time.

    1. Matthew… there is a lot of research going on in this area right now. We do not know what frequency is appropriate, nor which PRP system works best. Right now, I personally perform one injection, and only use subsequent injections if necessary.

      Howard Luks

  5. Thank you for taking the time to respond Dr Luks. Typically how long do you follow up with a patient to determine if a second shot is necessary? I am just trying to determine of the shots actually made my knee worse or if has just not recovered enough yet after 3 weeks to assess. Because as of right now, it is substantially worse then before the shots.

    1. Most patients injected for arthritis or inflammation of the knee feel better within a few weeks. Tendon related problems can take upwards of 4-6 weeks to start to feel better.

  6. I’ve just had a PRP injection to help my adductor tendonitis caused by Osteitis Pubis. My doctor had said I should try another injection into the symphisis. I haven’t been able to find any info about whether it can help. Have you had any experience is treating OP with PRP?

    1. To my knowledge there is no science or literature on the treatment of osteitis pubis with PRP. Since the OP process involves edema, or fluid in the bone, as well as the joint destruction, I imagine the success or failure of using PRP in this scenario will depend on what stage you are in ??? Since the injection will be placed in the “joint” it may or may not work based upon your stage,and where the pain is coming from.

      Good Luck…

      Howard Luks

  7. I had a PRP in my right knee 5 days ago. Am I supposed to keep icing it?
    It doesn’t feel any better yet. I am scheduled for 2 more, a month apart.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Millie…
      Sometimes it can take a few weeks for the PRP to “kick-in”. But then again, sometimes the PRP simply doesn’t work :-(.

      Howard Luks

  8. I have had proximal hamstring tendonosis for 2.5 years. I”m just wondering if PRP would be effective after such a long length of time. The MRI showed that the tendonisis was “mild” which amazed me considering how painful it is and how it never goes away. However, if I do nothing, will that eventually become a tear? the MRI also showed a partial gluteus maximum tear and I’m afraid the hamstring weakness caused that. Could they be related?

    1. Hi Becca… Perhaps your pain is not due to the hamstring, but instead due to the gluteus ??? idk since I have not examined you. PRP is fairly effective in treating many forms of tendinosis. There is no science or data specifically addressing tendinosis of the hamstrings.

  9. Dr. Luks, I just got a PRP injection to my elbow three days ago. The only instructions from my doctor were to see him in a month. I read that physical therapy is an important part of recovery. I have searched the web looking for videos of what these exercises look like but unfortunately there are none. Can you please point me in the right direction? Thank you so much for your time, Shana

    1. Hi Shana… there is no standard protocol. I personally encourage my patients to obtain a Flex Bar from Theraband… but you should check with your doctor to see if it is ok.

      Good Luck
      Howard Luks

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