Welcome to the Exciting World of Platelet Rich Plasma Injection

William Clark Jernigan, MD

The use of platelet-rich plasma to treat certain orthopedic disorders is an exciting advancement in the treatment of common musculoskeletal conditions. Exhaustive scientific studies have revealed that platelet-rich plasma can afford significant relief of pain, swelling, and stiffness related to common orthopedic disorders. Platelet-rich plasma has been successful at lessening pain in and around joints such as the knee, ankle, elbow, hip,  and shoulder.

Dr. Jernigan is very excited to be the value leader in the Greenville area for platelet-rich plasma injections. He is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with 34 years of experience treating pain and dysfunction associated with disorders of the tendons and joints. Here is a brief summary of what you can expect from a platelet-rich plasma injection at Jernigan Orthopedics and OrthoBiologics.

Prior to the procedure, Dr. Jernigan will create a specialized treatment plan for your unique problem and will provide you with a thorough musculoskeletal evaluation. Following the evaluation and a discussion, we will schedule the procedure.

Our team uses a “closed system” for platelet-rich plasma injections, which means that the platelet-rich plasma is derived from your body and not exposed to a non-sterile environment. From start to finish, the system is protected from outside viruses, bacteria, dust, etc.

The procedure in its entirety takes about 1 hour. After checking in, you will meet briefly with Dr. Jernigan for a final review and to go over any questions you may have. A technician will escort you to our office surgical room, where you will be comfortably positioned in the operative chair.

A technician will draw a vial of your blood. The blood draw is very similar to the technique used when having routine lab work. Next, your blood is processed with our sterile closed system to yield a plasma specimen with the desired platelet concentration and white blood cell ratios.

The injection site will be prepared with a surgical cleanser and anesthetized. This is done with a local anesthetic and is usually perceived by patients as a minor prick. Occasionally, a slight sense of burning is also noted. Dr. Jernigan then performs the injection of your platelet-rich plasma, which takes only a few minutes. The only dressing you will need is a Band-Aid.

If the procedure is performed for a tendon disorder, most patients will notice some discomfort, such as mild to severe soreness, for up to 24 hours. The pain can be distracting, so plan for light activity the two days following your procedure, then you can pursue your normal daily routine. It is not unusual for a small area of bruising to appear around the injection site.

The duration of relief is widely variable. The healing response in the tendon can take up to 3 months to significantly heal the area of pain. We closely follow our patients to better refine expectations about the duration of pain relief.