Hi! Just an up date on my PRP for my shoulder


Jul 28, 2015
Luther Oklahoma
United States United States
Hi All! Jamie suggested I start my own thread about my PRP experiences. For those that don't know, starting three years ago, my OS said I needed a shoulder replacement. Finally pain got bad enough that I agreed to a "cleanout" in November 2014. Went off pain meds in only 3 days and basically felt like a new person, for about 5-6 wks, and then things went downhill. Still don't know why for sure, but finally in January 2015, I was sent to a PT person that did a lot of manual manipulation and I started doing better again--not pain free, but able to deal with it.

Then about 4 mths. ago, things started going downhill much quicker. Couldn't hang up my towel, pick up a pile of laundry or put plates on the shelf. Was taking tylenol 3 at night to sleep and my arm would "lock" down every night when I would be sitting on the couch. (The kind of bone on bone pain that can only be stopped by changing position, except that you don't want to move!!) Then my doctor decided to start trying PRP injections and I thought, "I wonder??" PRP means platelet rich plasma. They take your own blood, spin out the white platelets and inject them into the bad joint. It is considered experimentally but is fairly safe since they are using your own blood. The idea is that this is a "super healing" solution that can help tears and worn cartilage.

A study (2013) by researchers from Hospital for Special Surgery has shown that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) holds great promise for treating patients with knee osteoarthritis. The treatment improved pain and function, and in up to 73% of patients, appeared to delay the progression of osteoarthritis, which is a progressive disease. The study appears online, ahead of print, in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine"

Since I have OA, my doctor considered me a good candidate, but the PT person felt I might have a "loose body" in the joint so I couldn't see how it could help if that was true. Well I had an MRI and afterwards both my doctor and my PT guy wondered how I used the shoulder at all. I have so much arthritic remodelling that the head of the humerus is now flattened and I have 3 partial tears in the rotator cuff muscles.

Anyway, I decided to try the PRP shot as I really don't want to do a replacement before fall. On January 21, 2016, I had it done. The worst part was that I have small veins so getting the blood was a bit of a challenge. They did two injections into the shoulder and told me to take pain killers for 4-5 days as I could have quite a bit of pain and that it would probably be at least a month before I saw any improvement; it could take up to 6 months to see the final result. I took two pain killers before I figured out that I didn't need them. I started improving almost immediately.

In the last two months my shoulder has only locked down 2-3 times. I can hang up my towel and I can put 3 plates on the shelf. The last few nights I haven't taken any pain meds at night. Yesterday, I mowed (riding mower) about 1½ acres and didn't even notice the shoulder. It was a bit stiff that night but last fall when I mowed, my shoulder bothered me so much that I was trying to do it without using my shoulder (impossible!)

My PT guy says he can't understand how the shot could help as much as it has, but he continues to be impressed by how much better I am - even my rotation has improved. He and I feel that I am past the point of "coincidence;" we continue to be cautiously optimistic.:yes!:
@Kssii Thanks for sharing your story. Very interesting and I am so happy you are seeing good results. Please keep us updated!
Very good! Thanks for the report.
Wow! With my recent experience with shoulder pain, I can only say WOW! With the race in my mind of how to ward off the damage osteoarthritis to other joints and find that happy point of when to "do something" before loss of ability to enjoy life, your story is simply mind blowing. Maybe maybe such hope! Thank you for sharing

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Well I am reporting back. I have continued to improve. I can now close the car door--I haven't been able to do that for at least 18 months and I have not taken pain meds at night for the last week. So at this point, I am pretty pleased - apparently I am presently the "poster child" for the procedure around my Dr.'s office. :heehee:

Now to the bad stuff - I have breast cancer - again. I was 16 years from the last time in March; it is very small (4mm) and probably was totally removed with the biopsy. I see my surgeon tomorrow - will have to still get clean margins and a sentinel node biopsy. My oncologist seems to think I might not need even radiation - just hormone therapy. He said, "If you have to have cancer, this is the kind to have."

Now for what I consider even worse news! Back when I was on oxy for my knee, I got a Reynaud's reaction in one finger. (I broke it basically off about 30 years ago.) My GP had me checked and I came out positive for scleroderma antibodies, but as in was only just one finger and as it went away when I quit the oxy I wasn't too concerned - especially when I learned that about 8% of people on oxy get Reynaud's and that sometimes oxy will screw with test results as well. Since one of the dyes used to do breast MRI's is known to trigger scleroderma type reactions in some people my GP did a recheck and I am still positive for the antibodies!! Panic!!:shocked:

Needless to say, I am fighting having an MRI - we will see what the surgeon decides. The only thing that scares me more than cancer is scleroderma. Oh yes, I don't "seem" to have symptoms unless you count heartburn, but who over the age of 60 doesn't have heartburn? I will know more after I see a reumatologist.
I know just how you feel. I was recently diagnosed with lichen planus which is also an autoimmune related condition. Now my bathroom resembles a pharmacy cupboard - the window sill is full of lotions, potions and creams!
I'm so glad to hear a story where the PRP therapy has worked well. As I'm sure you know, most of the time it doesn't really do too much and it is frequently not covered by insurance (very expensive). Here's hoping that the good shoulder continues for you so you can get these other issues settled.
Well I have continued to improve--except that I lack a bit of rotation over head and reaching behind, I feel like I did about 3 years ago. I don't know how long it will last, but it is wonderful how little pain I have right now. As to the rest, lumpectomy on Thursday. Won't be able to see the rumetologist until September!!! However, as I am still basically symptom free I guess I can live with it. (still scary!!)
Got through the breast surgery quite well--am having very little pain. The shoulder that received PRP is amazing--I have basically had NO pain for the last three weeks!! Yes, PRP is fairly expensive as it is considered "experimental" but for me it has been more than worth it!! I don't agree that it most of the time it doesn't do much--studies I have read using it with knee arthritis say that 70% of the people that have had it still have less pain after one year than before they had it. I agree that it has been tried in many different applications where it hasn't helped much, but by the same token, it has made a great improvement in other situations. Like all new things, doctors will need to learn when and where it will do the most good, but without a doubt it is useful--I am proof of that.
Glad the lumpectomy went well. :thumb:
I'm so glad your platelet treatment has gone well. If you can, I'd love you to post links to the studies you are referring to. I would be anxious to read them.
@Jamie Here are a couple. I have found if you go to one of the sports medical journals online and put in PRP you will find several articles--both pro and con. There is no pretense that PRP is a permanent solution, but up to a year of relief is amazing and you can have it done more than once. I have read (contrary to what was expected by the researchers) that results don't seem to be as good when it is leukocyte rich PRP as compared with "pure" PRP. I am almost 6 mths. in and mowed (riding) for about 4 hrs. today--something I simply could not have done back in December.

A study (2013) by researchers from Hospital for Special Surgery has shown that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) holds great promise for treating patients with knee osteoarthritis. The treatment improved pain and function, and in up to 73% of patients, appeared to delay the progression of osteoarthritis, which is a progressive disease. The study appears online, ahead of print, in the the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.

The American Journal of Sports Medicine: After 1 year, WOMAC scores for the ACP subjects had improved by 78% from their baseline score, whereas scores for the placebo control group had improved by only 7%.
Just a brief update. Seven months since my PRP and going strong. Occasionally I will have pain, especially when the weather changes, but over all it has been amazing. Sleep most nights without pain killers--even though the hormone therapy I am on for my breast cancer is known to cause joint and bone pain. (Yes, it makes many of my joint hurt periodically.) I can actually now put a gallon jug of mik in my fridge on the top shelf with my bad shoulder--haven't been able to do that in two years.
Well thought I would report. It is right at one year since my PRP and I have to say it was well worth the cost! Have even less pain now; maybe a twinge or two if I get the arm in just the wrong position but have been almost totally pain free for the last several months. My doctor said that he has two other shoulder patients who are doing as well as I am. I haven't even been to PT in several months.
I've recently have been having shoulder pain that is stopping me from doing some things I need to do during the day. I had injured it when I was 13 but never got any treatment for it. After reading about how much the plasma injection has worked so well for you maybe I will look into it for myself. Right now I'm scheduled for my other knee in April.
@Kssii So good to read your update. Amazing results with your PRP. I am sure this will give hope that there is an end to their shoulder pain.
I had the PRP done in my rt knee last November. The thought of having another body part replaced is unbearable Blood drawn no problem. Having it injected into knee hurt a bit almost squeezed Drs hand to tight. It's been almost 5 months. My knee doesn't hurt, except for behind knee cap. I had it drained once 2 months ago but now knee swollen around sides and having trouble doing the heel slides. I stay with this dr for 1 year. Insurance doesn't cover it and I can see him as needed. So I go every Friday to get stretched. The only problem is this is the side I had 2 hip replacements and last summer tore 3 ligaments and sprained both sides of ankle. So to top off that with excruciating back pain I don't know which way is up. Plus no meds!! Can't take Advil or Tylenol and Drs won't prescribe pain meds
I either wrap myself in heating pad or ice packs. Still going to PT to strengthen knee
Any suggestions out there??
Wow, interesting to reread and read! The other alternative for treating what my pain doctor is calling greater tronchator pain syndrome is PRP. He did say that it would not be covered by insurance and cost is about $500. I'm supposed to see my orthopedic surgeon on Friday to first hopefully tell me my shoulder is healing just fine and I didn't retear anything while helping my mom and, second, to give me his opinion on "debridement" of hip/back/greater tronchater. I don't really even know how to research these, but I am delighted to hear your success story.
Susanne you sure have the problems--so sorry that you can't get any "chemical" help for your pain issues. I find Tylenol 3 works for me and Celebrex does help my lower back. I have been so fortunate since my PRP--other than a time or two for lower back pain, I haven't required any pain meds since early last December. Don't know how much longer this will continue but I am so pleased. I'm definitely stressing my shoulder with spring planting time being here, so we will see. (I haven't had any massage therapy since last Nov. and I still can reach the car door to shut it!):loveshwr:
Hi all. Busy day with surgeon PT and acupuncture. My surgeon said I definitely need to have my rt knee replaced. I told him when he gets his done I'll go with him. He's not doing his in NY. PT said he doesn't think I need replacement. He's pretty confident that with PT I will get stronger. Acupuncture/ neuro did sleep study and said I have insomnia. No surprise there.
So to answer the question Drs here in ny are not giving strong pain killers like Percocet or oxi. Surgeon gave me tramadol maybe that will help a little.
I'll just learn to deal with the back pain just the icing on the cake

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