Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy takes your own blood, concentrates its healing properties, and reinjects it back into you to speed healing. Our team of expert musculoskeletal physicians, nurses and technologists who perform PRP therapy is led by Thomas J. Learch, MD, chief of Musculoskeletal Radiology, and Joseph C. Giaconi, MD.

Before Arriving for Your Exam

  • Directions and parking
  • Do not take aspirin or aspirin-related medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Aleve® or Advil®, for two weeks before your therapy. You should discuss any changes to your medications with your physician.
  • If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
  • You should not have PRP therapy if you have:
    • Abnormal platelet function
    • Active systemic infection
    • Active cancer
    • Low-platelet count
    • Severe anemia

After Arriving

  • A radiology nurse or technologist will ask you a few questions regarding your medical history. They will also do a few simple tests such as taking your blood pressure.
  • Please inform the technologist, radiology nurse or physician of any allergies you may have before your exam.
  • An imaging physician will discuss this therapy with you in detail and answer any questions you may have.
  • An hour before your scheduled PRP therapy, blood is collected and the platelets, which contain your body’s natural healing components (growth factors), are concentrated in a centrifuge.

During Your Exam

  • During the treatment, a local anesthetic is used on the affected region, and then the platelet rich plasma is reinjected under ultrasound-guidance to stimulate and enhance healing.
  • In most cases, one treatment is enough, but in certain cases between one and three treatments are recommended for maximum benefit over four to six weeks.

After Your Exam

  • Immediately after the procedure, you will remain lying down and under observation for a few minutes up to 30 minutes.


  • Keep the PRP site clean and dry.
  • Leave the bandage on for 12 to 24 hours and then replace the bandage with a Band-Aid until the site heals.
  • You may shower but change the bandage if it gets wet.
  • DO NOT use ice on the PRP site because ice reduces swelling. The therapy is meant to cause swelling, which helps you heal.
  • You may have some swelling and bruising for three to seven days.


  • You may have severe pain at the PRP site for 24 to 48 hours. Please use Tylenol or Ultram (tramadol) as needed, but do not take more than 3,000 mg of Tylenol in 24 hours.
  • You may be given narcotic pain drugs. NOTE: Some narcotic pain drugs have Tylenol in them. Count such drugs in the 24-hour 3,000 mg Tylenol limit.
  • Narcotics cause constipation. If taking a narcotic, please use a stool softener such as Colace. Please also drink more water and eat more fiber. DO NOT go more than two or three days without a bowel movement. Use a laxative or enema when needed.
  • DO NOT use any drugs that have the following in them for two weeks:
    • Aspirin
    • Ibuprofen
    • Naproxen
    • Other anti-inflammatory (anti-swelling) drugs (Motrin, Advil, Aleve, Voltaren, Mobic, Daypro, Feldene, Lodine, Orudis or Ansaid)
  • If you are unsure about a drug, please call 310-423-1011, Monday to Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.


You will be told which activities you may and may not do, but in most cases:

  • For PRP in the arm, wrist or shoulder, do not pull, tug, grasp, lift weight or grip with the arm, wrist or shoulder for six weeks. Also, do not do any motion again and again.
  • For PRP in the hip, knee, ankle or foot, use crutches for a day or more until you can walk without the pain getting worse.


  • DO NOT drive for 24 hours after having anesthesia or taking narcotic pain drugs.
  • If you have PRP in your hip, knee, ankle or foot, please have someone drive you home.
  • You may drive home if you had PRP in your wrist, arm or shoulder without a nerve block and drive an automatic transmission car.

PRP therapy takes time to work. It is not like a steroid shot that will make you feel better right away. You may feel more pain at first, since we are causing swelling in the area that was already sore. The swelling is needed for the blood cells to start helping you heal for the long term. Please be patient.

Please contact the nurse practitioner, Kristi Butenschoen, MSN, RN, FNP-BS, with any questions or concerns, Monday to Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at 310-423-8694 or

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 310-423-8694.

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.