Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Specialist

Regenerative Medicine of the Rockies

Regenerative Medicine Specialist & Acupuncture & Chiropractic Physician located in Highlands Ranch, CO

If you are considering surgery for your injured joint, take a look at healing through alternative, natural methods that have no side effects and no downtime.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Q & A

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) For Joint Injections

We use Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in our practice to treat tendon irritations, tendinitis, and bursitis around the shoulder, knee, elbow, wrist, and ankle joints.

We start by drawing a small amount of your blood, and then we spin it in an orthopedic centrifuge to isolate the PRP. The doctor then uses an ultrasound guided injection to place the PRP directly into the injured area, where the growth factors can take action to help heal the damaged tissue.

What Is PRP?

PRP stands for Platelet-Rich Plasma.  PRP is produced from a person's own blood. It is a concentration of one type of cell, known as platelets, which circulate through the blood and are critical for blood clotting. It contains platelets and the liquid plasma portion of the blood that contains many factors essential for cell recruitment, multiplication, and specialization required for healing. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is created by concentrating the platelets in your blood to enhance healing.

Warning!!!! This is for my fellow Students of life, or as I have been total my GEEK zone!!

It consists of platelets concentrated anywhere from 5-7 times baseline, and the surrounding plasma. This is accomplished by Our TerumoBCT Smart Prep Platelet concentrate system 3. The platelet concentrate process includes a proprietary, self-calibrating floating shelf for concentrating platelets. The floating shelf used in our PRP process disposable is specifically designed to selectively capture the mononuclear fraction of the WBC population. Many other PRP systems remove this important component from their PRP preparations. This fraction contains the majority of peripheral stem cells, identified by the CD34+ marker. CD34+ cells aid in angiogenesis and tissue regeneration at the application site. The concentration of stem cells found in PRP prepared on the Smart Prep system is indicated by the presence of CD34+ cells.6, 8. Platelets contain a vast array of growth factors that help to decreased inflammation and to bring in new blood vessels to the injured area. PRP has the benefit of stimulating the release of stem cells from vessel walls further augmenting repair.

What are Growth Factors?


A growth factor is a naturally occurring substance capable of stimulating cellular growth, proliferation, healing, and cellular differentiation. Seven key growth factors known to be essential in the healing process are bound to platelets in high concentrations. This is why PRP can activate and attract cells in or near the injury to supercharge the process of regeneration and healing. There are numerous other proteins found in PRP that are contained in the alpha-granules of platelets: platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor (TGF), platelet factor interleukin (IL), platelet-derived angiogenesis factor (PDAF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin-like growth factor IGF and fibronectin. These seven growth factors have been shown to reinitiate and orchestrate key biological processes, including angiogenesis, inflammation resolution, and tissue regeneration.

Steps for the joint injection procedure

  1. You will receive a thorough orthopedic, neurological, and function evaluation of the area or part of the body in question that may include a digital x-ray and/or a MRI.
  2. Isolating and activating the magic from your blood. First, your blood is drawn. Using the TerumoBCT Smart Prep 3 system in our office, we isolate platelets from your blood (platelet rich plasma, or PRP), all within about 15 minutes. The platelets are then “activated” to release at least seven growth factors used to heal injured tissue. These growth factors work to supercharge your immune system resulting in increased collagen and new blood flow.
  3. Identifying the area of concern. Using a diagnostic ultrasound machine, we guide and visualize the needle during injection.
  4. Injecting the PRP into the joint. The Platlete-Rich Plasma containing a high concentration of growth factors is injected into the joint. This process is guided with diagnostic ultrasound to assure proper injection location for your condition. These growth factors then activate multipotent stem cells already in the tissue, tricking them into “thinking” there’s been an injury. By creating an inflammatory response, the body sends more of its own healing elements to the area. The result is the generation of new, younger tissue to replace that which was torn or damaged.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) For Joint Injections

We use Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in our practice to treat tendon irritations, tendinitis, and bursitis around the shoulder, knee, elbow, wrist, and ankle joints.

We start by drawing a small amount of your blood, and then we spin it in an orthopedic centrifuge to isolate the PRP. The doctor then uses an ultrasound guided injection to place the PRP directly into the injured area, where the growth factors can take action to help heal the damaged tissue.

What to except?

PRP has been shown to exert anti-inflammatory effects resulting in less pain, and quicker recovery from both acute and chronic injuries. Injections with PRP can initially be painful due to the pro-inflammatory response. This inflammatory response is necessary to initiate healing. Soon inflammation decreases and regeneration begins. Results from PRP can take several weeks to months to see. Down time is minimal.

Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy Side Effects

If you’re concerned about the possible side effects of PRP treatments, understand that there is a very rare possibility of adverse reactions. The PRP serum used in the therapy is extracted from your blood. This lowers the probability of your body rejecting the injected plasma. Further, your medical practitioner takes the utmost precautions to maintain absolutely sterile conditions during the PRP preparation procedures. Using ultrasound devices, the serum is carefully placed at the treatment site to avoid any damage to the surrounding tissues. In addition, when you sign up for PRP therapy, your provider will screen you carefully to assure that you are a good candidate. You will provide us with a thorough medial history so that we can be confident that PRP is appropriate for you. Every possible precaution is taken to avoid PRP side effects. Our doctors will explain all the precautions to take before and after the procedure so that you experience the best results. The only after affects you can expect are some swelling and redness since PRP stimulates inflammation in the treatment area.

Are there any complications or side effects from PRP?


While there is a remote chance of PRP injection side effects, you could have minor reactions to the other processes that accompany the procedure. Here are some of the possibilities you need to be aware of. You’ll also learn about the precautions your PRP practitioner takes to avoid them.

Infections Rarely Occur in the Treatment Area

Infections at a PRP injection site rarely happen. That’s because the PRP serum contains white blood cells that fight any pathogens that may enter the treatment site. In addition, your provider will take care to maintain the most sterile conditions during the PRP preparation process and when injecting the serum.

Any Possible Allergic Reactions to the PRP Serum Can Be Avoided

Allergic reactions occur when the body rejects a particular medicine or food that is introduced to it. Your body develops antibodies to fight the foreign body and an allergic reaction occurs. However, the PRP serum is sourced from your blood and there is only a very rare possibility of your body rejecting its own tissues.

There is a Rare Possibility of Clotting

Blood clots can form in the treatment area if the needle pricks a blood vessel like an artery or vein. Our doctors use ultrasound guidance to visualize needle placement to protect arteries and veins.

Pain in the Treatment Area

You could also have a reaction because of some medication you’ve been taking regularly. Let your PRP practitioners know about the prescriptions you’re taking when you sign up for treatment. If needed, they might ask you to avoid them for a few weeks before and after the PRP treatment.

Redness and Swelling

The treatment site may show some redness and swelling that will improve in a day or two. In fact, the swelling you see is an essential part of the healing process and assists in the success of the therapy. If you have a tendency to bruise easily, you may notice darker or purplish marks.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) For Joint Injections

We use Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in our practice to treat tendon irritations, tendinitis, and bursitis around the shoulder, knee, elbow, wrist, and ankle joints.

We start by drawing a small amount of your blood, and then we spin it in an orthopedic centrifuge to isolate the PRP. The doctor then uses an ultrasound guided injection to place the PRP directly into the injured area, where the growth factors can take action to help heal the damaged tissue.

Platelet Rich Plasma is an effective, non-surgical treatment for many musculokeletal issues:

  • Acute and chronic tendon injuries
  • Bone fractures (PRP shows promise in helping speed up the recovery process)
  • Chronic and acute back pain due to injury or degenerative processes   
  • Degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis)
  • Elbow pain
  • Finger and knuckle pain
  • Foot and ankle pain
  • Hip pain (including labrum tears)
  • Knee injuries (ACL, PCL, LCL, MCL, and meniscus)
  • Muscle and ligament injuries
  • Shoulder injuries (tendonitis, rotator cuff tears and labrum tears)
  • Wrist Pain