Use of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) - Community Feedback

Last updated: April 2022

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a relatively new therapy that has been successfully used in the fields of sports medicine and trauma.1 PRP therapy is the use of a patient’s own blood plasma that has been enriched with his or her platelets and injected into an area of damaged tissue.

It has been reported that professional athletes like Tiger Woods and Rafal Nadal have used PRP to successfully treat sport-related injuries. The efficacy, safety, and low cost of this therapy make it ideal for use in rheumatology, yet this treatment has not been extensively studied in rheumatoid arthritis.

We received a question from one of our community members about PRP, and many of you responded!

Platelet rich plasma for RA treatment

Community Question: Has anyone had a platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection in a joint? This is where they draw blood, extract platelets, and inject it into damaged tissue in an attempt to start a healing process. After over a year of conservative treatments, physical therapy, and steroid injections, my orthopedic surgeon wants to try it as a last effort before surgery.

I’ve had or known someone who has had PRP therapy

  • I had it done on a unfused/failed back surgery. Worked like a charm and it healed beautifully.
  • I had it done on tennis elbow and it worked. No more pain in that elbow
  • What have u got to lose? I did it in my foot and toe and worked! Do it!!
  • I had it done for a tooth extraction. Worked awesome! None of the usual bleeding or soreness!! I am interested in it for my knees now!
  • I had it for plantar fasciitis - it worked great.
  • They did this to me when I had my right total knee replacement and my right rotator cuff repaired. They did not do this for my three back surgeries or ankle replacement. As to whether it helped me heal..... I can't pinpoint that being the reason but both surgeries where it was used were successful.
  • I had a PRP injection a few weeks ago for my torn achilles tendon. I'm in physical therapy too. So far it's not better but I'm still not done trying. It is a very painful injection but it has such healing potential that I'm willing to try anything to avoid surgery. My injection was done by my orthopedic surgeon in his office; it’s fairly common in his practice.
  • Yes! I had this done after rotator cuff surgery. It was incredible! Had to pay cash but it was worth every penny.
  • I have had it into my elbow, had physiotherapy for a few weeks mainly just massage, my elbow is so much better. I am just really careful I don’t lift with just that hand. I haven’t had to have any cortisone into the elbow for nearly 12 months now.
  • Yes I was part of an experimental group through the University of Michigan. I had the longest results of any of the other patients. I had the injection about 3 years ago. I was told that a ligament in my hip was torn. The pain has never really returned, and I have had no surgery.
  • I had it done on my Achilles tendonitis. You are supposed to get 1 shot a week for 8 weeks. It's something a lot of athletes are doing instead of PT. Two shots in the tendon and it was awesome! So we waited a week and decided to try some in my arch. Three shots and my foot is probably 75% better! I've had numerous issues due to RA and celiac disease, and a bad toe surgery; I tried MANY things to help, and so far this has helped more than anything I've tried. It's been 2+ months and it still feels good, and my swelling is down! They do put a little numbing stuff in with the blood which does help with the pain!!
  • Yes and it didn't do a thing for me. Just caused more pain and he to have surgery anyway.
  • I had it done on my severely sprained right ankle...miraculous! But not on my severely compromised left big toe from my RA. Maybe just too much damage there.
  • I know a few people who've had it done and it worked great. I know it's expensive even with insurance
  • A very good friend of mine has had this treatment on his shoulder and knee. It was done in Colorado. They also have a clinic in Chicago. Both treatments have been very successful. He does not have rheumatoid arthritis, but it has helped him tremendously. I’m considering it down the road for me.
  • My husband an I both had these injections. It works! My husband also had his own stem cell injections in the shoulder and knee.

I’ve never had or heard of PRP

  • No I never have had that done.
  • I’ve never heard of it. There are so many treatments - I wish there could be one that helps everyone with no side effects.
  • I’ve never heard of it. It sounds painful but maybe they put you in a twilight sleep? Please share if it does work. Good Luck.

I’ve had a similar treatment to PRP

  • I do "Prolotherapy". It is a little different, but same premise to promote healing from within your body. Not for my RA, but for the torn tendons caused by RA. I had one shot in my ankle for my torn Achilles tendon, and it felt so much better. Having another in a few weeks. Hoping it heals faster.
  • I had this done on one of the horses with tendon injury. It helped speed the healing process but at the end of the day the issue prevailed and needed long term maintenance
  • I have not done it but it's called super blood. If I'm not mistaken it's the stem cells in the super blood that concentrate. This is taking off all over the USA right now. Not sure if I'm confusing the two but it heals joints blood vessels weak heart valves. The uses are endless at this point.
  • ‪They are trying to get as many people to try it as possible to get insurance companies to accepted it as real science

I'd like to learn more about platelet rich plasma

  • Oh please share if it works. Or if anyone has already had it I would love to hear results also. I already have several fake joints.
  • This sounds interesting; please keep us informed how that works out for you.
  • I would try anything to get relief from my arthritis. I would try this if I could.
  • My rheumatologist suggested I try this prior to hip replacement. Insurance does not cover it.
  • Good luck and if you could let us know how it worked out for you and it's cost…I hope it works out.
  • Can anyone say the cost with insurance and without insurance and I'm guessing it works in any joint and is using your own blood.
  • Does it work for back injuries?
  • I watched it done on a hip replacement on You Tube. I am not sure if there's enough evidence of it working yet. Let us know how it goes. Good luck
  • I work at a plasma donation center. Plasma does amazing things! Try it and keep us posted.

I'm planning on or thinking about PRP therapy

  • My surgeon and I had that same conversation but we are doing an MRI next then probably the PRP injection. I hope it helps.
  • I'm having a PRP on my elbow on Monday. The cost is about $300 since insurance doesn't cover it. I should know impact in 2-4 weeks.
  • I am trying to get it approved right now for both knees. I had a friend, with RA, who had the injection in conjunction with her arthroscopic surgery. She was back to work in 10 days and had no pain in her knee for past year. I could only wish for that kind of relief.
  • We tried to find a doctor around our area to try that as treatment for our RA because athletes have had good luck with it healing their injured joints but no one wanted to try it for that purpose...only after sport injury or surgery. We will try to find another doctor who will try it on us once we move to another state. Good luck though...hope you have good results!!
  • Going to ask my RA doc about this next week’s appointment! I’m dealing with severe plantar fascia due to RA.
  • My doctor is suggesting this procedure for my shoulders. He says that it isn't covered by insurance though and runs up to $1000. I would love you know anyone's experience with the procedure, good, bad or indifferent.

What about you? Have you tried PRP therapy, or do you know anyone who has? Are you planning to try it some time? What are your thoughts on this type of treatment? Tell us more in the comments!

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