Platelet Rich Plasma
What is an PRP Injection in the disc?
- PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma in which patient's own blood is used to treat the painful condition.
- PRP releases a high concentration of growth factors and even stimulates stem cells to bring about healing of damaged and degenerated tissues
- It is a popular treatment of injuries of the shoulder, elbow, knee, and is now being explored for its use in discogenic pain.
- PRP is an FDA approved, minimally invasive and less costly option compared to surgery.
How does it work?
- About 40-50% of chronic low back pain is thought to be from the intervertebral discs in the spine. The pain arises when the nerves in the outer portion of the disc are irritated, which then signal the brain to indicate a pain response.
- Intradiscal PRP works to alleviate this discogenic pain. PRP is injected into the disc, which then stimulates the body to initiate a healing response.
- The patient's own blood is drawn and placed in a centrifuge, which spins the blood around to separate the platelets from the rest of the blood.
- Once the platelet-rich plasma has been extracted, the doctor injects the PRP into the damaged discs under fluoroscopic guidance.
- The spinal injection is an out-patient procedure that takes 30 minutes, but the entire procedure can take up to 2 hours.
When is PRP recommended?
PRP is recommended for patients suffering from chronic lower back pain where conservative management options such as activity restriction, medications, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment and steroid injections have failed, or when the only other option is surgery
What are the costs?
Although approved by the FDA, PRP is a relatively new therapy and is not covered by most insurance companies, to which costs can vary between $750 - $1700. However, payment plans are available.
What are the results?
Because PRP comes from the patient's own blood, side effects are very limited. Although results may vary,many patients have reported a noticeable reduction in pain and increased range of motion within two weeks
Although approved by the FDA, PRP is a relatively new therapy and is not covered by most insurance companies, to which costs can vary between $1700 to $2500. However, payments plans are also available.
What are the results? Research has shown that PRP promotes tissue regeneration when injected into other areas of the body. Animal studies have demonstrated a significant restoration of disc height when PRP was injected into the intervertebral disc. An ongoing trial of PRP injection into the disc for chronic low back pain shows promising preliminary results. Hence, PRP is an exciting new treatment option that patients with chronic low back pain might want to consider.