What is Plasma-Rich Growth Factors?
Plasma-Rich Growth Factors, has been used in orthopedic regenerative procedures as a non-surgical healing treatment that works on soft tissue. This high concentration of platelets is administered by using the same patient’s blood, making this procedure free of any allergic reactions caused by external substances.
Plasma is the fluid portion of blood which contains cellular components such as red cells, white blood cells and platelets. The Harvest method that Dr. Jose A. Jimenez uses in his practice concentrates the platelets 7-10 times of what is normally found in blood.
How does plasma work to heal?
Growth factors are released from large quantities of activated platelets at the site of injury. This leads to a reaction that initiates a healing cascade. Growth factors stimulate and promote healing of weakened, torn or damaged soft tissue such as tendons, ligaments, meniscus or labrum.
We advise the avoidance of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen (Motrin), Naprosyn (Aleve) and aspirin for 2 weeks after the procedure. This is to ensure we are not suppressing the initial healing responses that are important in maximizing treatment benefits. Some areas that we do plasma on, will tend to be more painful than others. For this reason, we will at times prescribe a short course of prescription pain medications as needed.
Patients may remove the dressing over the injection site within 24 hours of the procedure. We ask you to keep the area clean and dry for the first 2 days.
Infection after treatment is very rare as plasma treatment is antimicrobial in its own right. If infection were to occur, it would typically take at least 72 hours to manifest. Signs of infection would include fevers, chills, worsening skin redness, warmth and pain. Please call the clinic if you experience any of these symptoms.
Relative rest and periodic elevation of the treated area for 48 hours after the procedure are recommended. We do encourage patients to still move around in non-impactful ways during this time period, to avoid any potential risk of deep vein thrombosis. We will typically discourage the use of ice in the initial days after treatment to maintain optimal physiologic temperatures for autologous cell functions.
You may shower 24 hours after your procedure and avoid any scrubbing to the area of the injection. We advise patients to avoid any public pools or hot tubs for 28-72 hours to minimize infection risk.
The goal with plasma-rich growth factors is to create healing in the targeted tissues and or improved function. Physical therapy and appropriate mobility activities play an important role in this process.
We encourage patients to remain patient after the treatment as the healing process will normally take 3-4 months to evolve. This healing process will go through stages, with the first being inflammation, then proliferation and finally the remodeling stage.