Autologous Platelet Rich Plasma is a good alternative to surgery, pain medicine, and epidural steroids for patients with chronic low back pain from a “ruptured” disc. For those patients suffering from chronic back pain that has failed management, an evaluation will be conducted to determine if the epidural injection of platelet growth factors is the best form of treatment. This will include the review of the imaging findings including CT scan, MRI, X-ray, medication list, a history and physical.
The procedure is a simple outpatient treatment that can be performed in minutes without anything more than local anesthesia. A small amount of blood will be taken from a vein in your arm. That sample is placed in a centrifuge device that spins at high speeds to separate the platelets from the rest of the blood. After about 15 minutes, the PRP is injected slowly back into your epidural space. There, it enters to deliver a high concentration of growth factors to help improve the healing process of the injured tissues.
Most individuals report improvement within 3 weeks while others will require up to 6 months for improvements.