HEALTH AND FITNESS
By Dr. Alderman. D.O.
Doing PRP is not just a matter of making the PRP and shooting it.
Several points to keep in mind when selecting a doctor are:
1. Background in Prolotherapy: Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a type of Prolotherapy injection. However not all doctors who do PRP have a solid background in Prolotherapy. A Prolotherapy injection is not done the same way that a cortisone injection is, and requires specific training. Prolotherapy technique has been done using dextrose, saline and other natural ingredients since the 1930’s. It is only in the last several years that PRP has been used in Prolotherapy. The technique is essentially the same. This is not to say that a doctor who does not have a Prolotherapy background cannot perform PRP, because many fine doctors without a background in Prolotherapy have done PRP injections. However having this background and experience is a huge plus. A doctor who has a background in traditional Prolotherapy will have more experience which will be useful in PRP.
2. Quality of PRP: Some doctors do not use a specialized FDA-cleared PRP centrifuge and blood draw kits, but rather make their own PRP concentrates with a normal centrifuge. There are advantages in using an FDA approved machine because studies have been done on the platelet counts obtainable with the device, and testing to guarantee sterility and effectivenss are equired before the FDA will clear a machine. While “making ones own” PRP may be just as effective, there are more variables and consistency in quality.
3. Use of musculoskeletal ultrasound: This technology has also been around for only the last several years however has grown in its applications. When a doctor is properly trained in using ultrasound then there is an advantage in being able to diagnose and locate areas of injury. Of course PRP injections can be done without ultrasound especially if the doctor knows anatomy and has experience in doing injections. However it does offer more information and is another tool the doctor can use.
4. Experience and education in treating joint related issues: Osteopathic physicians (D.O.’s) have extra training in the musculoskeletal system and therefore have an advantage. Additionally they have extra training in procedures to improve the musculoskeletal system, so can use these techniques in addition to doing PRP as needed. Osteopathic physicians also have training in treating “the whole person” and are better equipped to analyze a musculoskeletal problem, especially if it is complex.
To summarize, not all PRP doctors are equal. Doing your research is important in finding the right doctor to fit for your issue, and obtaining a successful treatment outcome.