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Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy -- anyone familiar with this?


TUG Review Crew
TUG Member
Oct 30, 2007
Reaction score
Santa Cruz CA
Platelet Rich Plasma therapy (PRP) is becoming increasingly popular for treating tissue injuries and joint pain. In PRP treatment, a physician prepares an enriched supply of a patient's own blood, then injects it at the site of an injury to help promote faster healing of chronic injuries like tendinitis, sprains, and some milder forms of arthritis.

Today I was diagnosed wth a torn shoulder bicep tendon, the primary source of my pain,
as well as a damaged rotator cuff.

I received a cortisone injection directly to bicep tendon.
The injection included a bit of lidocaine, which gave immediate relief.
I was surprised by the level of relief I felt -- meaning I had acclimated to the level of daily pain.
My presenting complaints were inability to sleep through the night and inability to hook my bra.

I was forewarned that it would take several days for cortisone to work.

During my appointment I inquired about my body's ability to regrow tendon -- like it had recently done for my broken ankle. Doc explained that low blood flow makes it unlikely. (I wondered if anyone was doing research -- at the time, thinking stem cells.)

When I got home, I immediately consulted my favorite source of (mostly) reliable medical advice.
I was surprised by the large number of responses when I did a search of "rotator cuff". Next thing I know I googled PRP and learned it is being used for tendon injuries.

I understand it isn't covered by insurance. Some of the rotator cuff surgery really scared me.

Any first, or second-hand, experience?


TUG Member
May 9, 2008
Reaction score
No. Cty. San Diego
Resorts Owned
Marriott Shadow Ridge (Villages)
Carlsbad Inn
Unlike other tissues, tendons do not "regrow" in any meaningful way.

PRP therapy is unproven and there is a dearth of controlled random trials establishing its efficacy. Thus, it generally is not covered by insurance or used in mainstream orthopedic practice.


TUG Review Crew: Expert
TUG Member
Jan 8, 2012
Reaction score
San Diego
Resorts Owned
Sands of Kahana, Desert Springs I, DSV2, Shadow Ridge Enclaves Dlx
I have had a torn bicep tendon (the dr. Called it a rupture). I also had a rotator cuff tendon separation. The excellent surgeon told me that there are 3 diagnosis. One doesn't need surgery and will regrow and heal. One can either be operated on to speed healing or left. The 3rd case is when the tendon is completely detached and will never heal by itself. The muscle contracts and the tendon gap increases.

I had a partial bicep rupture years before the major rupture. It healed itself (kind of). The bicep tendon had reattached to the muscle rather than to bone. So, maybe that weakness ultimately resulted in the major rupture.