The blood was processed, the patient was prepped and the joint was injected with ease. Now that you’ve injected your PRP sample, it’s time to think of what comes next. What happens after your PRP procedure is just as vital as the procedure itself. Rest, rehabilitation, compliance and patience are all needed post injection for optimal PRP responses, but how much and when? In this blog, we’re going to provide 3 tips you should follow after every platelet rich plasma procedure to see the best results for your patients.
1. Schedule a Follow-up Appointment
Before your patient leaves the practice, make sure you have a follow-up scheduled for 2-3 weeks post-injection for a re-evaluation. This appointment will be crucial in the assessment of treatment progress and will determine future treatment plans (e.g. re-administration of PRP, rehabilitation, laser therapy, etc.). Have a plan for what measurements you will be re-checking (e.g. stance analysis, goniometry, etc.), if you’ll be taking progress videos or gaining pet owner feedback through a survey. Create a “game plan” for your follow-up appointment, setting outcome goals for your patient and preparing your pet owner for future treatment options should they be necessary.
2. Set Post-Injection Expectations with the Pet Owner
Your patient will have minor discomfort in the injected joint for 24-48 hours. In humans, the sensation has been described as a “fullness” of the joint, which may be exhibited as stiffness or a reluctance to move the treated limb. This feeling will subside and the pet will start to move more comfortably in the days to come. Make sure the pet owner understands the exercise restrictions (no slippery floors or stairs; leash walks only) and understands that the results from the treatment will come over time (think weeks, not days). Have your pet owners take note of their pet’s daily habits (eating, drinking, sleeping, activity level, etc.) and focus on the small changes in comfort post-injection. Small changes over time result in more significant changes in the long-term.
3. Post-Injection Rehabilitation
PRP is a potent therapy and when combined with rehabilitative modalities it can have even more profound effects on a patient’s recovery. Have a progressive post-injection rehabilitation protocol in place to support your PRP treatments and enhance your patient’s response to therapy. Therapies you may want to consider include photobiomodulation, underwater treadmill therapy, or passive range of motion exercises. A great resource for rehabilitation protocols post-PRP injections can be found in the webinar titled “We Injected PRP- Now What?” where Dr. Matt Brunke covers post-injection rehabilitative protocols in detail.
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