Physiatry Menu Physiatry Perineural Injections Platelet Rich Plasma Prolotherapy Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) The Basics Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections are a type of regenerative medicine therapy that stimulates the body’s natural ability to heal damaged tendons, muscles and joints. Using injections of a specially-created plasma rich in the patient’s own platelets, PRP treatments can benefit patients by helping to decrease pain, increase mobility and restore function. Dr. Michael Bertram, a board-certified Physician of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (also called Physiatry) at St. Elizabeth Physicians, is specially trained and certified in regenerative medicine treatment approaches including Platelet Rich Plasma, prolotherapy and perineural injections. Who does it benefit? As we age, our tendons and ligaments can stretch and loosen, making the joints wiggly. This can occur from natural causes – simple overuse of the tendons or ligaments – or a progressive disease like osteoarthritis. The result of wiggly joints and stretched out tendons or ligaments is pain and decreased mobility. PRP can benefit patients with a variety of different ligament, joint and tendon issues, including: Degenerative arthritis in the joints – including the spine Tendon degeneration or tears – Achilles tendon, rotator cuff, tennis elbow or patella tendon injuries Ligament damage – anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries Chronic ankle or knee sprains Make an Appointment For more information and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael Bertram, a specialist in Interventional and Regenerative Musculoskeletal and Spine Physiatry at St. Elizabeth Physicians, please call (859) 957-0052 or click here. FIND A LOCATION How does it work? Patients receiving PRP injections have their blood drawn and placed in a centrifuge. Using a specific two-spin technique that is part of the PURE PRP® treatment program, the solution is reduced to a plasma that is rich with platelets. The PRP is then injected into the affected area. These injections start a three-phase healing process: Inflammatory process – this initial phase starts the increase of blood flow to the affected area. This phase lasts a few weeks and helps to flush unhealthy tissue out of the area. Fibroblastic (restorative) process – this secondary phase forms new blood vessels and collagen in the affected area once the inflammatory process is complete. Maturation (remodeling) process – the new tissue in the affected area becomes stronger and healthier, making the ligaments and tendons surrounding the joint tighter and more stable. PRP is more concentrated – it is a stronger product going to a specific location. Typically, it only takes two to three PRP treatments versus five to six prolotherapy treatments. The platelets in the PRP treatment contain growth factors and accelerate the body’s inflammatory response. The platelets also build a structure for the body’s other cells, speeding up the healing process for injured or damaged ligaments, tendons, muscles and joints. How is it different from Prolotherapy? The methodology between PRP and prolotherapy is similar – injecting a solution into a targeted area in the body to stimulate a healing response. However, the sugar solution used for prolotherapy injections is a pharmaceutical, while the plasma solution used for PRP is created from the patient’s own blood. PRP is a great non-surgical option for patients who are struggling with chronic pain or limited mobility. Dr. Bertram utilizes a multispecialty-based evaluation during your initial appointment, looking at the entire body instead of just focusing on the painful problem area. By collaborating with physical therapists, chiropractors and other physicians when necessary, Dr. Bertram creates a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan for each patient, helping to improve function, reduce or eliminate pain and improve the patient’s overall health.